EDGECAM CAM software plays a pivotal role in swiftly producing high precision parts for a top-performing motorsport car developed by the sons of legendary rally driver Roger Clark.
Competing in the UK Pro Time Attack series, Gobstopper 11’s spec makes exciting reading for any motorsport enthusiast, and includes Nitrous-oxide injection, six-speed sequential paddle shift Modena dog gearbox, WRC spec Exe-TC suspension, carbon propshaft, and GKN rally driveshafts. The car started life as a standard Subaru Impreza with 280 brake horsepower and 8500 maximum rpm, but thanks to a number of highly complex components, manufactured with EDGECAM, it now develops 840 bhp and can safely go to 10,500 rpm.
“EDGECAM’s ability to program 5-axis components is unparalleled and its importance to us cannot be emphasised enough. Without it, our massive investment in 5-axis machining centres would be wasted...other software just cannot give us what we need in terms of manufacturing the highly complex components now required by motorsport and aerospace customers.”
Phil York, Senior Project Engineer
Run by Roger Clark’s sons Olly and Matthew, Roger Clark Motorsport focuses entirely on the Subaru Impreza marque, using Gobstopper 11 as the test bed to develop components and find solutions to providing even greater levels of power, which are then sold commercially to Subaru Impreza owners.
“In Time Attack trials we compete against the clock, not against other cars, and there are no rules or restrictions regarding the car. In order to push the boundaries as far we do, the components have to be the very best they possibly can,” says Olly, who drives Gobstopper 11. “There’s no compromise on the car build, nor the way it’s driven. Which means there’s no compromise to the way the parts are developed and made. I have to have every confidence that they can withstand the incredible strains and stresses they’re under as we’re putting 850 bhp through the engine.”
Based in Leicestershire, RCM was established 21 years ago and has a long-established relationship with motorsport and aerospace subcontractor, MP Engineering. “They provide an “incredibly rapid response” to our engineering scenarios, coming up with viable solutions that make Gobstopper 11 so successful. As well as prototyping and manufacturing new parts for us, MP Engineering also modify existing components such as the block assembly and cylinder heads which make the car more powerful. They are involved with over 300 processes operating in the car during a Time Attack trial.”
Jason Poole is Production Director at MP Engineering. “We certainly couldn’t create such highly complex 5-axis components for the car without EDGECAM. We did try other software packages before installing EDGECAM, but none did what we needed. EDGECAM means we can bring new parts to the track extremely quickly. The car contains several hundred of our components for any Time Attack trial, including at least 20 parts for the sequential gearbox alone...along with engine components, mountings, differential covers, clevices for the suspension, dry sump pans, pulley sets and battery clamps.”
EDGECAM, from Vero Software, drives MP Engineering’s nine 5-axis Matsuura, DMG Mori and Bridgeport CNC machines, and four 3-axis Bridgeports. Senior Project Engineer Phil York says it takes around eight hours to put the toolpaths down on components such as the differential cover. “If we didn’t have EDGECAM it would be several weeks’ work.” For most RCM parts the designs are created in conjunction with Matt Clark, and the solid model imported seamlessly into EDGECAM. “This allows us to accurately visualise the part, apply material, analyse it, decide what cutting tools we’re going to use and which machine tool we’ll program it for. Then we work our way through the relevant cutting strategies.”
He says with around 40 per cent of the RCM components – and 70 per cent of their total motorsport and aerospace parts – being milled in five axes, EDGECAM’s powerful simulation facility is also an essential tool. “We can’t afford any collisions with the fixtures or machine tool.
MP Engineering was founded by Jason Poole’s father in 1981, manufacturing fixtures and jigs. It has now developed into a highly skilled specialist sub contractor, operating with 30 employees, manufacturing high precision components for the aerospace and motorsport sectors, including a number of Formula 1 companies, such as Red Bull since the RB3 car was developed.
Olly Clark concludes: “MP Engineering not only provide us with a fast-turn around on one-off parts for Gobstopper 11, but once those parts have been successfully tested on the car, they also manufacture them for us to sell commercially to Impreza owners looking to improve the performance of their roads cars.”
About the Company
Name: MP Engineering, working for Roger Clark Motorsport
Business: Subcontractor for Performance Motorsport and Aerospace
- Can create highly complex 5-axis components
- Saves Time & Money
- Quick turnaround in producing complex parts
"EDGECAM’s ability to program 5-axis components is unparalleled and its importance to us cannot be emphasised enough. Without it, our massive investment in 5-axis machining centres would be wasted...other software just cannot give us what we need in terms of manufacturing the highly complex components now required by motorsport and aerospace customers"
Phil York, Senior Project Engineer