My name is Andrew East, I am the designer of the chassis that many of you have seen on the Fibre-Lyte website, the ĆAST V1.3.
The chassis is designed by me and it is my product, Fibre-Lyte are the people that manufacture it and that is their only involvement. I thought this was worth a mention as it seems that there are a few people that don't quite fully understand that.
The next thing to explain to you is why the chassis costs as much as it does. Each chassis takes many man-hours to complete. A flat chassis like the Rayspeed chassis takes about 2 minutes to cut and package up ready for the customer. V1.3 will take at least 1 complete day to mould and bake and then another morning to set up on the CNC machine to finish.
The quality of Fibre-Lytes work is extremely high and they take great pride in each and every chassis that leaves their factory. When you consider the amount of work that goes into each V1.3 chassis I am sure you can appreciate why the cost of the chassis is as high as it is.
If we wanted to make a huge profit we would have undoubtably gone the flat chassis route and remained with the top deck. However, had we done this we would have just had yet another Rayspeed chassis on the market that promises so much, but still suffers from the same faults as the standard chassis becasue it does not properley address the inherant problems with the standard cars design.
I understand that some of you believe the motor mount to be the primary cause of the tweak problems with the car? This is not true, the motor mount does not cause any problems in the slightest. The problem lies 100% in the arrangement of the upper and lower decks.
Carbon fibre by it's very nature will always return back to it's orginal state provided there are no other factors that limit it's freedom to return. in our case, the top deck.
The only solution is to remove the top deck, however, if you remove the top deck with the standard car you will have a very floppy paper weight that is no good for anything.
The answer is to make a lower deck that can support itself fully, this is where the carbon fibre tub concept comes into play. It is the perfect solution to this very big inherant problem.
We had to have two braces at the front and rear of the chassis for the following reasons:- The front brace goes from the front transmission housing to the steering posts, this is needed to support the steering posts and gives a more precise feeling to the steering during a corner. The rear brace goes from the rear transmission housing to the motor mount, this is primarily for keeping the rear input shaft properly aligned. It is a key point that these two upper braces do not have any meaningful torsional rigidity and only provide longitudinal rigidity.
The two upper braces also provide the allocation for the long central brace that runs above the prop-shaft, it is essentially a long turnbuckle that is located with a standard ball-joint at each end so that it cannot provide any torsional rigidity, it is used to share load from the front to rear (or vice versa) of the car in a heavy impact (lets face it we all have them from time to time).
The main chassis is 2.7mm in thickness, the upper braces are 2.0mm thick, the shock towers are 3.0mm thick and the Ti Turnbuckle is manufactured by Titanium Racing in Norfolk (UK).
Because the main chassis is 0.3mm thinner than the standard chassis we have lowered the cars CoG (Centre of Gravity) significantly, the weight distribution has also been much improved over the standard car, the cells have been moved inboard toward the prop-shaft as much as we could safely get away with. The chassis is slightly stiffer than the standard item, and isn't as rigid as you may think. The extra material around the edges means that the chassis weighs in a little heavier than the standard item at 120g, however, the extra weight has now been placed lower in the car and only helps to lower the cars CoG further over the standard car.
This chassis has been designed with only performance and speed in mind, therefore it most definatley has cell slots and a hole for the motor to sit into, we have extra cooling vents in the chassis to help aid the motor from cooking.
Ok, so thats enough about the design of the chassis, how does it drive and perform? The answer is that all of the above attention to detail gives you a car that will hold a tighter line around any given corner, it will also hold this tighter line for longer. The chassis will give you increased confidence to lean on the edge of the tyres grip that little harder and this added confidence means you are able to apply the throttle that little bit earlier on the exit of the turn giving you a slingshot out of the corner.
Not one word of this post is a lye, it solves the tweak problems this car has and not only that it is a significant performance step as well.
Thanks for your time