McMurtry Spéirling revolutionary fan car obliterates the Goodwood hillclimb in a record 39.08 seconds!
A personal reflection from Katy-Jane Mason – Content & Social Media, Dolphin N2
“When it comes to any kind of motorsport & having been brought up on a diet of 2-stroke & four-stroke motor car & motorbike racing from my youth (mid 1970’s) I am by design a complete petrol head!
I have the fondest memories of even as a toddler attending race meets where my father was Chief Marshall. The air would be either full of the smell of Castrol R or the heat haze from the starting grid & when the cars or motorbikes would speed past me, I could not contain my excitement.
As a child, Formula 1, MOTO GP & any footage available of the Isle of Man TT would always bring our family together. I have very fond memories of my uncles & all of the children huddled around the television on a Sunday afternoon watching the likes of F1 racers such as Alain Prost, Niki Lauda or Nelson Piquet or GP racers such as Jamie Whitham or Barry Sheene hurtling around the track with vehicles which would challenge most modern F1/GP racers due to their lack of technology.
This was my life & continues to be my life, although I am more motorbike fixated these days as I found as a I grew up & grew older, that the F1 magic seemed to have lost something for me.
However, this has not stopped my interest in how technology is supporting the motorbike & motor car racing world. For example, as an avid TT fan I watched with interest how the TT Zero race was developing. From a one lap demonstration race in 2009 to a successful addition to the traditional ICE racing; the EV competition became dominated from by Mugen, a team with associations at Honda from 2013-2019.
However, TT Zero was removed in 2019 to “allow the motorcycle industry as a whole to catch up on the leading edge developments that some manufacturers & individual race teams and universities have achieved to date” (1) Rob Callister, responsible for motorsport with the Department for Enterprise.
Since then, we have seen Triumph develop their TE-1 electric motorcycle with support from the University of Warwick, Integral Powertrain, Williams Engineering, with funding from BEIS & the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), via Innovate UK & most recently, the Advanced Propulsion Centre have announced £17.1M of funding to Norton Motorcycles to assist with their development of an electric motorcycle branch to their traditional ICE manufacturing.
Motorbikes are not the only area where electric sport vehicles have been developed with the intention of racing. Formula E has become a very successful entirely electric race series based on the traditions of Formula 1 & has recently gained World Championship status to become the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. (2)
At the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Duke of Richmond always ensures that the latest innovations & technologies are in the spotlight in the Future Lab exhibit. The F1 Pit Lane also showcases alternative energy/fuel/propulsion developments in motor racing & this year the Mahindra Racing’s Gen3 Formula E car as well as MissionH24’s ground-breaking hydrogen-powered endurance race car, the LMPH2G; showcased their innovative technologies & performance on the hill (3)
However, the world of alternative fuel/propulsion was very abruptly shaken to it’s core during the Goodwood FOS weekend when a revolutionary single seater fan assisted car from McMurtry Automotive, tore up the famous Goodwood hill in 39.08 seconds, obliterating all other records for any vehicle in the history of the racing circuit.
Although I was only able to watch live footage from home this year, the McMurtry Spéirling was utterly breath taking to watch, a truly hairs standing on end moment in motorsport history.
The McMurtry Spéirling was originally unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as a demonstrator in 2021 but returned to the iconic hillclimb 2022 to attempt the record.
Sporting 2000kg of instant downforce-on-demand & a sub 1.5 second 0-60mph, the Spéirling with Formula 1 racing driver Max Chilton at the wheel, achieved a time of 39.08, breaking the previous record set by Romain Dumas in the Volkswagen ID.R in 2019 by 0.82s. (4)
Following an intensive programme of prototyping & testing by McMurtry Automotive, the Spéirling’s unique fan-powered downforce system make it a formidable performance differentiator, generating more than double its own weight in downforce which, unlike conventional vehicles, is available at all speeds as it does not rely on airflow over the car. (4)
Inheriting the technology from the pioneering innovators of Formula 1 in the 1970s, McMurtry Automotive has brought the concept into the 21st century.
The instant downforce allows the instant torque from the drive motors to be fully deployed, & the result is a 0-60mph time under 1.5s and a top speed of 150mph (capped due to hillclimb gearbox selection). (4)
Although the McMurtry Spéirling was only able to showcase it’s capabilities in a short burst up the famous Goodwood hill, the impact this has made & the potential this small single seater has for the future of motorsport is exhilarating & exciting to consider.
With styling overtones of the original 1960/1970 F1 cars, inheriting the technology from 1970’s Formula 1, but with modern explosive speed generated by cutting edge technologies; the McMurtry Spéirling car is something to watch out for & a contender for the petrol heads/speed addicts’ attentions!”
Written & cited by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2