Ayrton Senna's first Formula 1 car and F1 turbo era engine technology and modernization with Geoff Page Racing.
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With some engines reaching an alleged 1500HP in qualifying trim, the turbo era of F1 was one of excitement, innovation, and tragedy. Geoff Page is no stranger to some of the cars of this moment in Formula 1 history, and during Goodwood Festival of Speed trip earlier this year we were lucky enough to visit his workshop that is brimming with cars, chassis, and engines with huge historical significance including the first F1 car Ayrton Senna ever competed and scored points in back in 1984, the Toleman TG183B powered by a turbocharged Hart 415T.
Geoff gives us a rundown on the 800HP 415T plus how Brian Hart and the team decided to look at some older pre-existing monoblock technology at the time to combat head cylinder sealing issues, and how coolant flow was actually one of the biggest issues for them to overcome via a ‘dummy’ head gasket that was cast into the block in order to better control flow and pressure, and therefore temperatures. The evolution of head gasket technology from there on is discussed along with what output Geoff thinks the 415T could produce today with the addition of some modern technology such as an ECU, sensors, and turbo upgrades.
Also discussed is the block casting technology of the time, Nikasil coating and how Geoff has worked to reproduce the 415T with some modern upgrades to ensure cars like this do not just sit collecting dust and can instead be fired up and driven as they were intended to do. Interestingly with a Life Racing ECU developed specifically for the 415T which runs 4 injectors per cylinder, the engine start time has been reduced by a whopping 2 hours compared to the old mechanical injection setup.
This is a huge interview with so much more discussed and we’ll definitely be back to catch up with Geoff again in the future.