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Zircotec is continually finding new applications for its high temperature coatings, heat barriers and thermal management services.  Please find all the latest news about new developments and events that Zircotec is attending...

Zircotec coating prevents disaster in Silverstone HRDC race

15th April 2014

The Zircotec sponsored Oxford Universities Motorsport Foundation (OUMF) team's freshly prepared Riley 1.5 historic race car lost a rear core plug right at the end of qualifying for the HRDC 'Touring Greats' at Silverstone on April 5th The team feared an ignominious exit from the first HRDC meeting of the year as the Riley limped slowley back into the pits.

 

They and other onlookers hadn't taken into account the effectiveness of Zircotec's ceramic coating at reducing surface temperatures though.

 

   Zircotec coating enables swift repair to historic racing Riley

With just over an hour before the race, quick thinking team leader Tom Maitland immediately ordered removal of the engine to fix the problem. Though it had hardly stopped running, the students surprised many around them in the pits and not a few spectators by being able to unbolt and remove the stainless steel BTB manifold and exhaust system with minimal delay thanks to the Zircotec coating. The Performance White ceramic coating used on the Riley reduces surface temperatures by approximately 33% and crucially also accelerates temperature drop off. 

 

Working feverishly, the students had the engine out, a new core plug installed and the engine back in with seconds to spare before the flag dropped heralding the start of the season's first race. It was so tight the Riley had to start from the pit lane - but it made it to the flag in the end. Without the properties of the Zircotec coating to aid them it is highly likely the team would never have started the race.

 

Joe Ellis, MD of BTB Exhausts, who along with Zircotec is a keen supporter of the OUMF team was in the pits to see the efforts they made to stay in the race. He was deeply impressed with what he saw and delighted to see them gaining this kind of real 'hands on' race experience.

 

OUMF Coordinator Ding Boston said afterwards "It really is no exaggeration to say literally every single instant counted in this drama - and it really was thanks to Zircotec we made it at all. I confess when I looked at the task in hand and the time left before the race, I didn't expect the team to prevail. Especially as this was the first race for many of them and the first of the year for their Riley project car. I am extremely proud of what they achieved, and we are all so grateful to Zircotec, BTB Exhausts and all our other generous sponsors and supporters."

 

Zircotec is delighted to be able to continue sponsoring the OUMF team and also work with around 15 other university teams. At Zircotec we make no bones about our belief that the students of today are the automotive engineers of tomorrow and young talent needs to be encouraged and nurtured. There is also no more demanding arena to learn within than the white heat of competition.

 

You can follow the OUMF students' through this season at www.oumf.org and we wish them and all our other student teams the very best of luck for the 2014 season. 


Zircotec supported Ferrari to again compete at Le Mans & in ELMS

11th April 2014

 

The JMW Racing Ferrari supported by Zircotec has confirmed their participation in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) for the seventh consecutive year. The team will also participate in the legendary Le Mans 24 hour endurance race this June.

 

The Ferrari 458 Italia of the JMW Racing team can be seen here in its new 2014 livery. Zircotec has been supporting JMW for several seasons now and the 458 will compete in the GTE class in the ELMS race series and in the same class within the famous Le Mans 24hrs race itself.

 

   JMW Racing Ferrari testing at Paul Ricard with Zircotec coatings protecting man and machine

The car features Zircotec coatings on the exhaust systems and uses ZircoFlex® ceramic heatshield to protect the drivers and the components from the extreme heat build up in endurance racing. The extended lengths of time the drivers spend in the cockpit of the cars during this, one of the toughest forms of motorsport for car and drivers, means that preventing damage to the ancillaries and fatigue from heat exhaustion is critical to success and reliability. Zircotec's ranges of ceramic thermal barrier coatings and our ZircoFlex® ultra thin heatshield material are perfect for these kinds of roles.

 

The sheeting is extremely lightweight and flexible and can be cut to the exact shape required very easily using nothing more specialist than a pair of sharp kitchen shears. ZircoFlex® is also available in three variants, single ply, dual ply and triple ply all of which come in both self adhesive and standard formats. This means users can maximise the effectiveness of their heatshield by choosing the thickness most appropriate to the environment and also the most suitable means of fixing to the components.

 

The ELMS will kick off with the first race being held here in the UK at Silverstone. The 4 hour race will be held over the weekend of 18th and 19th April with the race being run on the 19th. We will be wishing the JMW team all the best for the opening round and for the series as a whole.

 

The picture was taken during the official test for the ELMS held at the spectacular Circuit Paul Ricard at Le Castellet in the South of France. The team finished second in class in most of the test.

 

The new driving team comprises three talented young drivers in the shape of two Britons, George Richardson and Daniel McKenzie alongside Italian driver Daniel Zampieri. Despite the young ages of 22, 23 and 23 respectively the three are very experiences drivers. Richardson has raced Endurance in the US for the past two seasons whilst McKenzie drove single seaters before moving to GT racing in 2013. Zampieri meanwhile already has two seasons experience behind the wheel of a Ferrari 458 and has previously tested for Formula 1.

 

The Paul Ricard circuit features one of the longest straights in closed circuit motor racing in the form of the Mistral, a full mile and a quarter long before it bears right into the fearsome Curbe de Signes. More than one vehicle has given up the ghost at the end of the straight after being tortured mercilessly for hours in an endurance race.

 

We are convinced the ceramic coatings we have provided to JMW will ensure they need have no fear of a similar fate when the series returns to Paul Ricard in September for the penultimate round.



Zircotec partners win two out of three opening BTCC races

1st April 2014

 

Andrew Jordan took his Pirtek Racing Honda Civic to wins in the first two BTCC races of the year the second win came after getting the maximum ballast penalty of 45kg.

 

The addition of that extra weight was too much to overcome combined with the softer tyres the team used for the third race and Jordan had to settle for 13th in that final race. Jordan now takes a championship lead of 2 points into the second round to be held at Donington Park in three weeks time over the weekend of April 19th & 20th.

   Zircotec sponsored Pirtek Honda takes 2 out of three wins at opening BTCC round.
In the first race Jordan fought off the close attentions of Jason Plato in his MG who started second on the grid beside Jordan and ended the race in the same position. Matt Neal in the all new Yuasa Honda Civic Tourer came in third just ahead of his teammate and former champion Gordon Shedden. Winning is not without its consequences in BTCC and immediately brought about a weight penalty for the second race.

Despite the heavier car and two safety car sessions during the race Jordan was once again able to bring his Honda home first this time followed by Shedden who was getting to grips with his new car. Plato had stalled on the grid finally getting away 27th and ruining any prospects of a repeat performance. Colin Turkington in his BMW took the final podium position in race two with Matt Neal coming 4th.

Turkington took the win in the final race of the day having led in his eBay BMW almost from the start. Matt Neal finished the day with a 2nd place finish whilst Jason Plato overcame his woes of the second race to take the third place slot.

After the first round Andrew Jordan and his Pirtek Racing team lead the championship on 47 points from Matt Neal on 45 followed by Turkington on 44, Shedden with 40 and Plato on 38.

Zircotec heavily involved in new BTCC series

27th March 2014

 

The 2014 BTCC series starts with the opening three rounds being held this weekend at Brands Hatch. Zircotec will again be partnering last year's champions Pirtek Honda driven again by Andrew Jordan.

 

Zircotec's involvement in the UK's foremost car racing series doesn't end there, fully 50% of the grid comes to Zircotec to improve their performance and reliability. The number of competitors, manufacturers and models entered is greater than we have seen before promising that the action will be every bit as good as last year.

  2014 BTCC Grid with 50% using Zircotec ceramic heat management solutions

 

There will be three rounds of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship held on the shorter Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this coming weekend announcing the start of the new season. Zircotec technical partners Pirtek Racing by Eurotec Racing will be competing in all three with last year's reigning champion Andrew Jordan at the wheel.

 

Whilst the Pirtek Honda set the pace at the recent BTCC tests at Donington, this year's series is set to be one of the most competitive ever. Jordan is facing 6 other former champions including the BTCC legend that is Alain Menu. The field is also wider than ever with 31 entrants in 14 models from 11 manufacturers all signed up for the series.

 

The Pirtek Honda benefits from Zircotec heat management with Thermohold® ceramic coating employed on composite materials and our ZiroFlex® ultra flexible ceramic heatshield deployed under the bonnet. Whilst on other competitors, our range of specialist coatings are used on exhausts, air filter housings as well as protecting body panels and the driver from heat. You won't find our coatings on turbos for this series though; ceramic coatings are not permitted on this component in BTCC.

You can catch all the action on ITV4 where the racing is to be broadcast live. If you would like to know how technology used in the BTCC could be used to offer performance and reliability benefits to your own car, please take a look at our ThermoHold
® and ZircoFlex® web pages.



Visit to Nick Mason's car collection

20th March 2014

 

Zircotec recently had the pleasure of hosting a media visit to long time customer Ten Tenths. Ten Tenths is a renowned historic race car preparation specialist and are responsible for maintaining and race prepping the collection belonging to Pink Floyd's drummer, Nick Mason. The collection Mason has built up over several decades contains some of the most iconic sports and racing machines ever built. For the last six years Zircotec ceramic coatings have played a crucial role in the maintenance and upgrade work carried out on the collection to keep them not just driving but still racing too. 

   The Ferrari 250 GTO of Pink Floyd's Nick Mason

 

The list of cars reads like something out of every enthusiast's dreams including multiple Ferraris such as the racing Ferrari 512S used by Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans, a Competizione Daytona, an Enzo, an F40, a 213 T3 Grand Prix racer and perhaps the crowning jewel of the collection a 1962 250 GTO that is still raced every year. In fact the GTO is a regular front runner at the annual Goodwood Revival TT race and has been driven by such luminaries are Jean Alessi and Mark Hales.


We have already spotted a couple of articles in the online press about the visit to see the collection and here are links you can follow and read more about this fabulous collection:

 

This one is to the Huffington Post

Whilst this one is to the Carwitter site

 

   Nick Mason's Ferrari Daytona engine with Zircotec ceramic coating

As the highly skilled team of Ten Tenths engineers have worked their way through the collection they have come to Zircotec to have manifolds and other components with high heat concentrations ceramic coated. They have also used our ultra flexible lightweight ceramic heatshield ZircoFlex® to protect both drivers and components. Mason's Ferrari Daytona is one of the car's to have benefitted from our Performance White coating as can be seen in the picture of the engine bay.

 

Whilst it is true to say that Mason is a confirmed Ferrari fan it would be wrong to assume that his collection was made of up Ferraris alone. Other dyed in the wool classics and performance milestones in the collection include a McLaren F1, a Bugatti Type 35, a Birdcage Maserati, a Ford Model T that was used in the Keystone Cops films from the silent era complete with levers and handles to cause comedic falling off of various parts like doors etc. Then there are other cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 and its cousin the 962. An Aston LM18 from the 1930's where the LM stands for Le Mans and a beautiful Maserati 250F Grand Prix car from the mid 1950s of the same type driven to victory by Fangio.

It's altogether a fascinating and simply spellbinding collection that even the great motor museums would cry out for. It also quite simply marvellous to think that we here at Zircotec are helping to keep some of these gems doing exactly what they were built to do, racing on tracks even today.


New era in F1 commences in Australia this weekend

12th March 2014

 

This weekend marks the start of a new generation of Grand Prix racing. A raft of technologies, aimed to make Formula One more efficient and more relevant to road cars will race for the first time. The new V6 power units have taken some time for some of the teams to get to grips with and for many, Zircotec's range of thermal barrier coatings for both metals and composites has been an effective solution for managing heat.

 

With tighter packaging, the introduction of turbos and the opportunity to use heat recovery systems, Zircotec has been working closely with F1 engineers to find effective solutions to improve reliability and performance. The teams still have much to learn about the behaviour and performance of their new set-up, and technologies such as ZircoFlex®, our flexible heatshield, provides an option for resolving heat issues in the field. 

  australian gp

 

As we have already seen through the official F1 tests, last year's performance was no true guide to how this year's series will pan out. The changes to regulations really have been that dramatic that it is no exaggeration to call this turning point in F1. It is really proving very difficult to predict how the season is going to unfold. We have seen teams who had a very challenging season last year near the top of the timings in testing and vice versa.

Zircotec wishes its customers well this coming weekend for what is looking to be the most exciting and unpredictable season that anyone has seen in decades. We here at Zircotec shall be watching the whole weekend unfold and shall be ready to react instantly to any of our customer's requests for help.


Zircotec sponsors University of Modena Formula Student team

26th February 2014

 

The increasing number of business relationships between Zircotec and Italian automotive manufacturers and suppliers has led us to sponsor the University of Modena Formula Student race team for the 2014 season. We will also continue to sponsor several UK university race teams.

 

Zircotec is already a supplier to such prestigious Italian manufacturers as Lamborghini and Pagani based in Bologna and Modena respectively. That region of Italy is a little hub of specialist high performance auto manufacturers and the University of Modena produces a steady stream of new young engineers to fill their needs.


  University of Modena Formula Student car sponsored by Zircotec

Followers of Zircotec will recognise that we are keen supporters of Formula Student, already providing sponsorship to many of the leading UK teams and to a selection of other teams from across Europe. Each year we will typically sponsor more than 10 teams who compete in the series. We do also go along to the Silverstone Formula Student event each year, one of Europe's major competitions.

 

The student teams from each university design and build a race car to meet exacting standards. These criteria ensure that not only are the cars examined on the basis of outright speed or performance but on other aspects such as economy, braking and endurance. In addition, the design process and each team's solutions to problems they encounter are examined and assessed.

 

We are delighted to be able to sponsor these teams and the young automotive engineers within them. The encouraging of talent for the future is something we take a serious interest in here at Zircotec, after all in 10 years time these young engineers could be the next Adrian Newey, Marcello Gandini or Robert Opron.

 



Zircotec coated Norton race bike takes to the dyno

1st February 2014

 

These are the first pictures of Norton's V4 race machine being run on the dynamometer. As announced earlier this week Zircotec has formed a technical partnership with the Norton Racing team. The first fruits of this partnership can clearly be seen in the pictures.

 

The prototype V4 is running a unique exhaust system which has been coated by Zircotec at our factory with our Performance White ceramic coating. Zircotec's coatings are now accepted as the world's leading heat management solutions for motorsports and are to be found in all forms of racing from F1 to MotoGP.

 

Our Performance White as used on the Norton can reduce surface temperature by up to 33% during running and has an operating temperature of up 1400 degrees C. That ability is of particular use in the intense heat of a dyno chamber where the Norton does not receive the benefit of travelling through the cooling air that it would during the course of a race.

 

The Norton Racing team are almost ready to commence track testing as they fine tune the engine and chassis for the Isle of Man TT perhaps the World's toughest motorcycle road racing event. They have recently enlisted the help of former TT winner, GP racer and race team manager Mick Grant. The extensive knowledge of road racing and of what is required to win at the TT in particular will be invaluable to the team as they work towards their goal of competing for the two biggest prizes in road racing; the Senior and Superbike TTs.


   Performance White coated exhaust on Norton V4 dyno run
   Zircotec Performance White handles intense heat during Norton dyno test