August 13, 2022

It’s been over 40 years, but the fan car is officially back. A year after its demonstrator debut, the McMurtry Spéirling has become the first fan car to race in sanctioned motorsport since 1978, breaking the 40-second barrier to win that year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​and become the fastest car to tackle the famous hill climb. Driver Max Chilton put the single-seater’s all-electric powertrain and on-demand downforce system to work to beat the still daunting 2019 mark of the Volkswagen ID.R.

Since debuting the Spéirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​last year, the McMurtry team has put the prototype through a rigorous program of testing and development. During that time, it effectively multiplied the available downforce to 2,000 kg (4,440 lb), a figure which is also more than double the weight of the small car. Up to its current top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h), the Speirling develops more downforce than an F1 race car, says McMurtry.

Unlike ground effects and other aero tricks that develop downforce from airflow, downforce gained through McMurtry’s system comes instantly from 0 mph and results in minimal drag, a combination that McMurtry calls it the “holy grail of tire grip and fuel efficiency”. The car uses this holy grail for an incredibly fast sprint of under 1.5 seconds from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h). It currently tops out at 150 mph purely due to the climb-specific gearing – expect future iterations to push that figure north.

Unlike the average near-silent EV, the McMurtry makes a lot of noise thanks to its floor-hugging fan system

McMurty Automotive

Former F1 and Indy pro Max Chilton joined Team McMurtry as Chief Development Driver earlier this year and has been an integral part of the shakedown and development process. The company announced plans two weeks ago to put Chilton behind the wheel of the Goodwood 1.86km (1.16 mile) hill climb event, with designs for both a win in 2022 and an overall record time.

Chilton and McMurtry triumphed in Sunday’s shootout at Goodwood, hitting both goals with a run of 39.08 seconds. That time, he easily beat Nick Heidfeld’s official shootout record of 41.6 seconds since 1999 and Romain Dumas’ unofficial record of 39.9 seconds in qualifying from 2019. Heidfeld set his record in a McLaren MP4/13 F1 car, while Dumas did so behind the wheel of the Volkswagen ID.R. multi-record.

The Best Type of Post-Sport Recovery Drink

The Best Type of Post-Sport Recovery Drink

McMurty Automotive

“I’ve been coming to Goodwood since I was four,” Chilton said. “After witnessing Nick Heidfeld’s official record, did I ever think I would be the only one to break this? No. Taking this record is the most memorable of my racing career.”

McMurtry says the event marked the first time a fan car has competed in an officially sanctioned motorsport event since Niki Lauda drove the infamous Brabham BT46B to victory at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.

Inspired by 1960s F1 cars, the tiny Speirling is just 3.5m (11.5ft) long by 1.7m (5.6ft) wide by 1.1m (3.5ft ) from above. The sub-1,000 kg (2,200 lb) single-seater produces 1,000 hp/tonne using a dual-motor rear electric drive wired up to a 60 kWh battery built from cylindrical lithium-ion cells P26A from Molicel of Taiwan. The pack offers up to 30 minutes of track autonomy.

The latest version of the Spéirling also features a carbon monocoque, active ride-height suspension, bespoke 210/640R19 front and 240/640R19 rear tires and carbon-ceramic disc brakes.

To roll

To roll

McMurtry Automotive

While the Spéirling’s 100-decibel fan system and center cockpit are most at home on the track, McMurtry still plans a road-legal version to customize and handcraft to each buyer’s unique specifications. . When not pushed to the max, the 30-minute battery will provide an estimated range of 300 miles (483 km) on the road.

McMurtry does not specify a timetable for a road car release, but he promises “radical” performance updates and more record attempts after his Goodwood win.

Watch Max Chilton stick the Speirling down the track and achieve Goodwood glory in the video below. It’s a great watch and only slightly longer than the 39.08 second run itself.

39.08! McMurtry fan car breaks Goodwood Hill RECORD! | Speed ​​Festival 2022

Source: McMurtry Automotive