First test for Corsa Hybrid Tuesday
The next step toward the debut of Corsa Motorsports Ginetta-Zytek hybrid prototype comes Tuesday with a key shakedown in England. Johnny Mowlem, who will team with Stefan Johansson in the ground-breaking GZ09SH project at next week’s Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix, will do the testing honors at Silverstone for the Steve Pruitt-owned team.
“The car (with the hybrid system engaged) has not turned a wheel in Europe,” Pruitt said. “So it’s a lot of hope and faith. Our engineers say everything is moving along well in getting the car put back together. It has a lot of peculiar facets and unique things that haven’t been tried.”
That’s for sure. The Corsa Ginetta-Zytek will employ a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that enables the collection and conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy. It permits the use of an electric motor resulting in more efficient power and a lower carbon footprint. How the car performs and behaves with KERS engaged is still a big mystery to Pruitt.
“We still just don’t know how (the captured energy) is going to be applied specifically. I’m anxious to get Johnny’s feedback,” Pruitt said. “The project offers an interesting dynamic. It has a lot of potential and challenge. But it’s frustrating on the same level. You have to go about it in logical steps.
“It is a very complicated and technical endeavor, much more than what we thought when we decided to do this about a year ago,” he added. “Once we capture the energy and it’s converted to the DC motor, it really circumvents the internal combustion engine. The general spirit of the rules results in developments that can be passed on to road-going technology.”
Once the shakedown is complete, the car is scheduled fly out from Gatwick on Wednesday and land in Las Vegas on Thursday. Pruitt hopes customs procedures can take place while the prototype is still in the air to expedite the release process, which he hopes is Friday.
The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix from Miller Motorsports Park is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. MDT on Sunday, May 17. SPEED will broadcast the race starting at 10 p.m. EDT on the same day, and satellite radio subscribers to can listen to the race starting at 4 p.m. ET on Sirius 126 and XM 242. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com. You can also follow the Series on Twitter.
The race also will include the season-long MICHELIN Green X Challenge. Tickets are available at americanlemans.com or millermotorsportspark.com.