Providing up to 44psi of boost is a pair of Le Mans-style turbochargers
from Honeywell Garrett. They lead into a Banks-designed log-style manifold
dubbed “Big Hoss.” The fuel system is based on a Bosch common-rail
setup and uses a Bosch EDC16 engine-control unit. Early testing saw favorable
results using the stock injectors and fuel pump. But Banks is working
with different spray patterns and line pressures, so advanced injectors
and a larger fuel pump are available.
The goal is 650 to 700 horsepower with 800 to 900 lb-ft of torque. More
torque could be dialed in yet the team has to make the drivetrain live.
Early setups included a Tex Racing 4-speed transmission but there may
be a switch to a new G-Force 5-speed. The rear end is a Speedway Engineering
Track-Nine NASCAR-style housing with full-floating hubs and a Detroit
is built with mild steel and chrome-moly tubing. Rules don’t restrict
engine placement, so the Duramax was located 18 inches back and 16 inches
lower than stock to achieve a 50/50 balance. Total weight is 3200 pounds.
Alexander (Sheldon Tacket is the crew chief) is also a suspension specialist
and designed the front and rear geometry.
and spindles were fabricated at Banks and mounted along with Koni shocks
and Eibach springs, which control the rear 3-link. Massive 13-inch Wilwood
brakes are found at all four corners. The body is a combination of stock
sheetmetal, fabricated panels and custom composite components. The front
fascia is designed to improve aerodynamic flow and provide an air intake
to the turbochargers. The sidepods feature vents to relieve heat under
the hood and also scoops to cool the rear brakes.
Alexander says the chassis is designed to play off the strengths of the
diesel’s torque but that the overall package has to be drivable.
Fuel economy is also important. The Banks team wants to take advantage
of the lighter diesel fuel consumption to log more laps before time-consuming
pit stops. Also, the engineers can’t just pour fuel into the cylinders
at will. Black smoke will lead to a black flag from race officials. With
that in mind, the team is experimenting with particulate traps.
believes that diesels are the performance engines of the future. There
are indications he may be right. Diesel powered road racers have been
rare but attention to them are growing. The Taurus Sports team entered
a Lola powered by a 5.0-liter VW V10 engine in the 2004 Le Mans race but
suffered driveline problems. Peugeot is also setting its sights on Le
Mans with a diesel-powered prototype. Continuing research and development
on the race track level can’t help but improve diesel engines on