Few elements are installed to a thoroughbred prototype that are not impacted by its suspension. At its most basic, the suspension system translates the information coming from the wheels to the car and driver, each of which must speak the same language for results to come on track.
Whether it’s speed, performance or aero balance, suspension plays a central role in pushing the limits of what is possible, not least when it comes to track-specific machines designed to be both quick over one lap and consistent over a race distance.
R53 Suspension has worked with Revolution Race Cars to find a step forward in performance, drivability and handling.
Revolution was founded in 2017 by Phil Abbott, one of the original founders of Radical Sportscars 25 years ago. Phil set out to apply this experience to build the ultimate sub-LMP level prototype in which Le Mans winners and amateur drivers alike could feel confident. Revolutions can be found racing across the globe in the Sports Prototype Cup. The 2023 European series began in Barcelona, and this weekend (20th - 21st May) was at the historic Silverstone.
Under the skin: how dampers make a defining difference
Bespoke damping requires a unique setup for each application. R53 begins by consulting with the customer on what handling characteristics are most desirable. Then, using a concept formula, engineers are able to configure a damper setup that matches the customer’s requirements. Once performance and reliability tests are completed at the factory, R53 provides on-track support to find the last bit of performance.
“It’s where theory meets practice,” explains Roger Estrada, Founder and Managing Director of R53 Suspension. “The wealth of experience within the team for building suspension systems informs both the theoretical and on-track development. Revolution came to us because it required a car that would perform at LMP3 level while having enough comfort for drivers of all levels to feel confident.”
‘Comfort’ is a term used in motorsport engineering to refer to the consistency a car has in spite of the surface, environment or corner characteristics. While it doesn’t refer to physical comfort, it does go some way to making the driver feel at home in the car. Finding a dependable package that inspires confidence was crucial for Revolution Race Cars as it developed the 500hp supercharged Revolution 500SC.
Striking the perfect balance between performance and comfort is what led Revolution to possess a defining advantage on track with a car that is not only competitive, but also extracts performance when the conditions get tough.
ST46: R53’s versatile suspension platform
Revolution uses R53’s ST46 damper product. It’s a single-tube, triple-adjustable coilover damper with independent compression and rebound adjustments. It features R53 OptiFlow Technology that enhances performance by controlling the optimal pressure within the damper.
When developing the 500hp supercharged Revolution 500SC to lap circuits at LMP3 pace while providing drivers with confidence-inspiring feedback, Phil knew that the damper choice was key to delivering the best possible driving experience.
Phil applauds R53 for the attention it paid to the collaboration: “I’ve worked with many damper companies, but none like R53. The team fitted the dampers, listened to our feedback and tuned the dampers to our needs rapidly. With R53 fitted we didn’t need a stopwatch to see the difference, the speed and traction difference was visible. R53 is a true partner to Revolution, a different world compared to other damper manufacturers. The team listens to the driver and studies the data to respond with a tailored product. They really know their products and how to adapt them. The mobile workshop is a true asset. Changes are made quickly in a clean environment that prevents contamination. We can get back on track swiftly, reducing expensive testing downtime and improvements come rapidly."
“R53 just knows its stuff.”