The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (FIBT) has launched a new racing series for junior athletes featuring “mono bobs”. The company responsible for building the mono bob, SwissBob, has placed its trust in the expertise of Sauber Motorsport AG for the development of the single-design sled. The Swiss design beat off competition from six internationally renowned companies to get the green light from the FIBT.
Mono bobs are racing sleds that can be pushed off and driven by a single athlete. The FIBT envisages great potential for mono bobs in junior competition in particular. One of the early highlights for the mono bob will come in 2016, when the SwissBob sled slides into action at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer.
SwissBob AG commissioned Sauber Motorsport AG to oversee the development of the concept and the production of the monocoque. “We’re delighted that Swiss Bob AG has entrusted us with this ambitious project, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to its success,” says Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG. “Formula One and bobsleigh racing have a great deal in common, such as the aerodynamics of the bob, the physical principles underpinning the development of the chassis and the process engineering involved in the construction of the monocoque, which is new to bobsleigh,” Kaltenborn explains.
In contrast to the tubular steel chassis which has held sway in bob construction to date, the new mono bob has been designed – like a Formula One chassis – as a monocoque with a sandwich construction. Plus, the flexibility of the regulations has allowed the engineers to explore new directions with the aerodynamics, as reflected in both the dynamic styling of the mono bob and its performance. The new mono bob was victorious in its debut outing at the Swiss championships.
As in Formula One, safety is a top priority. The monocoque is a significant upgrade on a conventional construction and its aerodynamics have been honed to make this a forgiving sled if the driver makes a mistake. Added to which, the manufacturing process employed allows the engineers to ensure that each sled has an identical construction – an important factor in a race series using single-design sleds.
For four years now, Sauber Motorsport AG has also used the expertise acquired in Formula One and its technically advanced infrastructure to handle commercial projects for third parties in various arenas. (Press Release)
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