Falken drift team provides harsh environment test bed for Zircotec’s thermal barrier coatings

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Photography by: Philip Mann
Team FALKEN drift Zircotec coating
Team FALKEN drift Zircotec coating Source Philip Mann
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Team FALKEN drift Zircotec coating Team FALKEN drift Zircotec coating 200rpm quicker spool Zircotec’s ThermoHold coating

Rolling road test already identifies turbo spools up 200rpm quicker when coated with Zircotec’s ThermoHold® material. Drift cars will be used to test and evaluate thermal barrier coated turbo and exhausts in extremely harsh, high underbonnet temperature environment

A technical partnership with the reigning British Drift champion and the FALKEN drift team will enable coatings specialist Zircotec to test and measure the performance of its coatings in the growing sport of drifting.  Initial results completed after engine mapping have already demonstrated the turbo spools up 200rpm quicker than the previous uncoated housing - suggesting both performance and reliability gains are possible. Falken’s extreme performance cars including a Nissan Skyline and 200SX, boasting 670bhp and 500bhp respectively, will be used to demonstrate the benefits of Zircotec’s ultra high performance ThermoHold® thermal barriers in an application that leads to unusually high underbonnet temperatures. 

“With drifting, the cars are travelling sideways leading to restricted airflow through the front of the car,”says Paul Cheshire, who both drives and prepares the Falken drift cars.“The turbos also close to the brake master cylinder leading to reliability issues. By coating both the turbo and manifolds we aim to improve performance, increase reliability as well become a rolling-real-world test bed for Zircotec.”

After mapping the cars on the rolling road, the first tests suggest that throttle response is improved and lag reduced.“The coating immediately provides a 200rpm improvement in spool up time,” adds Cheshire.“This creates a worthy advantage during competition as we need the power to set up the drift.” On Cheshire’s car, the coating together with other engine upgrades, has contributed to a 60bhp power increase over last year.

Using cars in competition to acquire test data in the harshest environments is a proven approach to advance Zircotec’s range of ceramic thermal barriers. The partnership with Falken follows similar arrangements with Team DynoJet’s BTCC Toyota Avensis, Team JMW’s Ferrari 458 GTE and Andy Frost’s street legal Vauxhall dragster.

Zircotec plans to release further details of the testing as the year progresses and hopes that the partnership will raise awareness of the benefits in another stream of motorsport.“The benefits our coatings offer are applicable in so many formulae and sectors of the sport,” adds Zircotec’s sales director Peter Whyman. “We already supply coatings to all levels; from F1 teams right down to classic car enthusiasts doing regularity runs. Even though to date the car has only run on the rolling road, it seems that our coating will deliver benefits relevant to drifting and we look forward to acquiring further results to share.”


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