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Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Workbench for the Road: Mouser and LEMO at Le Mans 2014 Erik Smith

 This past Christmas, I drove with my fiancé from our home in Texas to visit my family in Florida. At average highway speeds, that’s about a 17-hour, non-stop drive. I made a plan of action: driving shifts, fuel stops and cost with drive-thru food and coffee all factored in. We could do it. It would be a grueling trial, but the finish line was the Sunshine State and two weeks of relaxation.

Well, that was the theory, anyway. This travel blueprint didn’t make it very far past “team review” before it was vetoed in favor of an overnight stay in the panhandle. And in hindsight, I’m glad it didn’t; Long distance driving is a rough mental and physical endurance test. In fact, the only reliable aspect of my plan was my car. From fuel-efficiency to stabilization and more, a lot of these advancements I take for granted in my production vehicle were developed by engineers to showcase their prowess in endurance races like the “24 Hours at Le Mans”.

For those who don’t know, “24 Hours at Le Mans” is the oldest active sports car race in endurance racing. Think of it as the ultimate test lab for advanced technology. And there’s no trick to that name, this year’s race starts June 14th, 15:00 CEST (9:00am EST / 8:00am CST) and ends 15:00 CEST on June 15th. Driver, Crew and vehicle need to be at the top of their game to compete in this grueling test of racing and engineering. Mouser and LEMO have joined together to support the Rebellion Racing team, whose #12 and #13 cars are the fastest gasoline-only powered cars on this track. Behind the wheels of these LMP1-L class cars is an international ensemble of racing talent: Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld, and Mathias Beche for #12 and Andrea Belicchi, Dominik Kraihamer and Fabio Leimer for #13.


The drivers for Rebellion Racing

The track at Le Mans features stretches that are both race-only tracks as well as public roads shut down for the event. Engineers have to be mindful that their precision motors and electronics can withstand the harsh environments that these road conditions will throw at them. An advanced racing CPU won’t be able to regulate the various operations of the vehicle if it can’t withstand the high-temperatures produced by the engine, or if the connections come loose from vibration. Mouser and LEMO are happy to partner with the engineers at Rebellion to ensure that their vehicles have the newest and best on-board electronic components and connectors possible to get their advanced racing machines across the finish line, and hopefully to the winner’s circle.

And after the race, if the drivers aren’t doing anything, my fiancé and I are planning another trip to Florida this Thanksgiving. Give us a call.

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Erik is the Social and Multi-Media Manager at Mouser Electronics. When he’s not tweeting about what’s next in the world of engineering for @MouserElec or uploading videos to YouTube, he can typically be found nose-down in a good Sci-Fi book. You can see what he’s up to on Twitter: @ErikSmith80

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