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Polystrand, Sanluis Rassini and PPG create advanced automotive composite project

News International-French

28 Aug 2014

Partnership develops SCCA GT-Lite Racecar featuring thermoplastic composite suspension components.

With goals of accelerated development and freedom of design, Polystrand, in partnership with PPG and Sanluis Rassini, is preparing a vehicle to compete in the Grand Touring Lite (GTL) classification in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). GT cars are purpose-built, highly modified replicas of series produced sport sedans. The class rules offer great freedom of construction by allowing one-off chassis designs, use of alternate materials and a multitude of drivetrain and suspension options.

The goal of the GTL project is not just to field a competitive racecar, but also to showcase continuous fiber thermoplastic composite technologies that can be applied to the automotive and transportation industry. The vehicle provides a development platform for complementary products and engineering concepts in an organized program. The materials and applications focused on are lightweight composite structural components for chassis and suspension, interior and exterior panels, aerodynamic aids and fire-resistant materials.

Construction is currently in process on the Honda CRX chassis, a purpose-built GT car that has consistently appeared in the SCCA Runoffs since first hitting the track in 1991. Completion of the first phase of development will be completed by early September.

The GTL project will compete in the SCCA Majors, a national level racing series, which culminates in the SCCA Runoffs - a national championship event held each fall. Starting in 2014, the championship events are slated for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Daytona International Speedway, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The event boasts premier sponsorship from companies such as Mazda, Sunoco, BF Goodrich and Mobil 1, and contingency awards are offered to the participants by dozens of sponsors including automakers such as Nissan, Mini, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen.

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