We are always looking to push the limits of what we can offer our customers and with the launch of our Version 6 software and unique Ecutek Bluetooth interface we took the opportunity to revisit our already successful Nissan GT-R calibrations.
What better way to do that than a couple of days at the famous Paul Ricard Circuit. Paul Ricard is situated in Le Castellet, near Marseille, in France. Opened in the early ‘70s, this superb venue offers the chance to really shake things out in testing, with plenty of run off which will definitely be required!
We sent the test cars down by transporter ahead of time, allowing team a relatively easy journey of a quick flight to the nearby Marseilles airport instead. The MO would be simple; shake down our latest GT-R developments for both the ECU and our updated engine dry sump kit and transmission coolers.
The first test day was a revelation! We arrived and had the circuit literally to ourselves. The only other car, occasionally, on track was the sublime Oreca 2017 LMP2 car as it began its’ initial shakedown work.
The main focus of the test was to run our newly developed Nissan GT-R traction control system which is now able to utilise Ecutek’s new iPhone app in order to make instant changes to the setup. Prior to travelling we reverted our LM1 RS track car back onto the OEM ECU to test one extreme of the setup – namely high grip tyres and track suspension on a smooth, dry circuit. As mentioned before, Paul Ricard has become a favourite for testing high end super cars and track cars as it has huge amounts of asphalt run off areas, ideal for testing traction control parameters with very little chance of damage if we made a miss calculation 😉
Overseeing the test alongside myself was our technical manager Dan Cook and Master Technicians Razvan and Scott. We took a methodical approach to set-up and cross referenced every variable with our set-up sheets and data analysis were scrutinised after each consecutive run.
Joining our track focussed GT-R was a rare Nismo model which was an excellent reference point during the test. This Nismo although modified by our serves was running our old traction control software so it made it very easy to see just how much quicker the new system would react to the same conditions.
The new Traction Control is extremely complex with multiple layers of custom maps giving varying levels of assistance through each stage of a bend. Having two clear days on track allowed us to steadily improve the system each time we went out. Using the new Ecutek Iphone App to make fine adjustments live on track backed up with detailed Datalogs.
The results were nothing short of astonishing! Our previous traction control systems have been widely praised but Dan’s new setup is on a completely different level. The driver can get on the throttle earlier with just the right amount of power delivered to the wheels so that the tyres balance on the edge of grip. Even in the lower gears the power never feels blunted or restricted, instead the car feels like it has amazing grip through the bend and excellent traction under acceleration.
Along with the positive Traction Control setup the team were also thrilled with the performance of the new Gearbox and Diff coolers which are now mounted discretely at the back of the car.
The gearbox and diff cooling was able to be switched on and off independently of each other so we could see the differences each element made to cooling throughout the day. Scott’s oil cooler designs worked superbly straight away with temps never rising over 110 degrees despite the multiple laps. We hope to have the production items finished soon.
The dry sump has done everything we hoped it would with lots of track hours now under its belt. We chose to run the original Dry Sump system on a used standard engine encase of issues and then with further changes made we were confident to install some of our forged internals which would allow us to run more power through the car. This intense two day session was the final test before we once again stripped the engine to check the internal wear. We hope this complete kit will be available during 2018.
Overall we could not be happier with our two day trip. The car was faultless and the new upgrades worked superbly. We now look forward to building on this great result and improve the products even further before releasing them to our customers.