Nicholson-McLaren's new sportscar race engine

Following a successful test this week in Rowan Racing's Reynard 01Q chassis at Silverstone, UK, the Nicholson McLaren Engines LMP675 sportscar power unit is scheduled to make its debut in the SR-2 class of the FIA Sportscar Championship race at Dijon-Prenois, France, on August 18. The new, 3.4-litre engine is based on the main castings of the Cosworth XB CART ChampCar V8

Nicholson-McLaren's new sportscar race engine

The XB was itself derived from the HB F1 engine used by Benetton and McLaren in the early 1990s. It has an 80deg cylinder bank angle and is fitted with a longer-stroke crankshaft to increase the swept volume from 2.65-litres to 3.4-litres. With the CART turbocharger removed, and equipped with the air inlet restrictors required by the ACO's Le Mans regulations, peak power for the engine is quoted at over 500bhp.

From 1996-2001, the FIA Sportscar Championship SR-2 class was open only to naturally aspirated engines, with maxima of six cylinders and 3-litres displacement. A supplementary regulation issued in January 2002 admitted engines built to the ACO's LMP675 rules, which allow a maximum of eight cylinders and 3.4-litres displacement.

NME has built the new engine in its shop in Finchampstead, near Wokingham, England, which was formerly Xtrac's factory.

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