Issue: Oct 2009


Bekaert DLC coatings help restore racing history to former glory for participation in historic ralli



Belgium-based Renoprotec and A.V.R.acing apply Bekaert DLC coatings to tune historic cars' engine - boasting performance and reliability by decreasing wear and friction

by Nick Palmen

Bekaert Diamond-Like Coatings, the worldwide leader in performance engine coating technologies, has helped restore an authentic piece of racing history to its former glory. Belgium-based Renoprotec and A.V.R.acing are applying Bekaert DLC coatings to tune the engines of the 1973 Toyota Celica TA22 and 1986 MR for the cars' participations in historic rallies like Slowly Sideway and circuit races.

Back to racing elementary school

Renoprotec specialises in repairing, treating, renewing and cleaning auto and engine components for numerous applications. The company's owner, Guy Van den Broeck, is a life-long racing enthusiast. A few years ago he developed a keen interest in the cars of Klaus Fritzinger. In the summer of 2008 he visited Klaus Fritzinger in search of engine parts for his 1973 Toyota Celica TA22 – the car that became a legend in 1974 in the six hours of the Nürburgring in Germany. It won first place in the 1600ccm category, third place in the 2000ccm category and secured fourth position in the general classifications.

Van den Broeck reports on the meeting: "Klaus Fritzinger was more than happy to help and even had some original pieces that he could provide for his 1973 Toyota Celica TA22 and his 1986 Toyota MR. Both cars were now complete and in their original state. It was time to tune the 2 engines of these legendary Toyotas and bring them back to life."

Preserving authenticity

At first instance, Renoprotec wants to enrol the Toyota Celica TA22 for historic racing so it is crucial that the authenticity of the car is preserved. However, this means that also the engine must be restored to its original state, which presents weight issues as the car already weighs 780kg. As with all races, weight reduction is vital.

Van den Broeck wanted to use the latest technology in the car’s restoration, so he turned to AV Racing, an engine builder he had successfully collaborated with in the past. A.V.R.acing's owner, Alain Van Ryzeghem, recommended applying Bekaert DLC coatings to the engine components, which would reduce the friction and wear they would endure during races without adding any extra weight. Plus applying DLC coatings would give the engine approximately an extra 3pk horsepower, which can make a crucial difference to the engine's performance.

Van Ryzeghem explains why he opted for Bekaert solutions: "We have been working with Bekaert for almost five years now. We test the coatings every time and always measure actual differences in results. The DLC coatings are very reliable – they’re durable and won't fail during the race. Investing in DLC coatings is absolutely worth it, as it provides the engine with reliable protection against wear and friction, and delivers extra horsepower during the race without adding weight."

A.V.R.acing regularly applies Bekaert DLC coatings for a wide variety of competitions, such as Superbike, Supersport and even kart races. Van Ryzeghem adds: "DLC coatings are a great alternative way for smaller teams to fine-tune their engines and increase performance. In Renoprotec’s case, we’ve applied Bekaert DLC coatings to the camshafts and the tappets and the initial tests have proved us right."

High-end solutions for smaller racing competitions

Mark Boghe, Product Market Manager, Bekaert, is excited about this new application for the Bekaert DLC coatings: "Our DLC coatings are renowned for improving engines used in high-end races, but this success story underlines how smaller teams can also benefit from this sophisticated technology. Bekaert DLC coatings ensured the camshafts and tappets were in optimum condition for endurance racing, without damaging the authenticity of the car and engine. It’s rewarding to know that we’ve contributed to the restoration and second life of a true racing legacy."

Renoprotec is currently finalizing the design of the car, and will test it on various circuits for the remainder of 2009. The race team plans to participate in various historic rallies from 2010.

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