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  Creation CA07 AIM
 

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2008
Designed by:Kieron Salter for KWM Motorsport / Creation Autosportif
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 17, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFounded in 2003 by Mike Jankowski and Ian Bickerton, the Creation Autosportif racing team has quickly established itself as one of the fastest privateers. The Creation name was derived from a formation in the Eagle Nebula called the 'Pillars of Creation'. The British team first entered the world of motorsport with a Lister Storm in the FIA GT championship and for 2004 added a proper prototype racer to their stables with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as their ultimate goal. This DBA 03S was raced very competitively in that season's Le Mans Endurance Series championship, resulting in an invitation for the 2005 Le Mans.

Not entirely happy with the reliability of the Zytek V8 engine in the back of the DBA, the team decided to turn to Judd power for the next season. It was a successful investment as the striking blue and yellow racer was driven to second in the Silverstone round of the LMES. The team's Le Mans debut was promising with a 15th place finish after some minor glitches slowed the car down during the exceptionally hot race. Throughout the season, the team was followed by a camera crew of the Discovery Channel for a very entertaining documentary aired later that year.

While it was a relatively successful season, Creation had a problem for 2006 as their DBA racer was no longer legal. Instead of buying a new car, Creation instead decided to fit the existing chassis with redesigned bodywork. This would make the car legal for another season in Europe and several more in the United States and Japan. Equipped with the revised 'hybrid' body, the DBA was rebranded Creation CA06/H and now powered by a Judd V10 engine. Using a similar Zytek chassis, a second car was built later in the season.

At the season opening test at Paul Ricard the 'new' Creation showed great potential, clocking the fastest time of the weekend. In the first two Le Mans Series races of the season, the car proved quick again, but the team suffered from reliability issues in Turkey and a heavy crash in Friday practice at Spa. A strong run at Le Mans was terminated early when the engine started acting up. It all came together in the second half of the season with a pole and three podium finishes in the Le Mans Series behind the dominant Pescarolos. One car was also raced in the American Le Mans Series where it also recorded a pole position.

Again Creation faced the problem of having a car that was no longer legal and this time there was no 'easy' fix. With the help of KWM Motorsport, Creation's Ian Smith set about designing a brand new car for 2007; the first real Creation. The new CA07 carbon monocoque chassis sports the mandatory twin roll hoops, but still uses a lot of the running gear found on the DBA and Creation hybrid. The engine is the latest version of the Judd engine, which now displaces 5.5 litre and is mated to a Ricardo gearbox. The 2006 bodywork has been carried over with slight modifications to suit the new tub.

The introduction of the new racer was postponed several times, because the team was busy readying the two CA06/Hs for American customers. As the 2007 Le Mans drew near, it became clear that the trademark blue and yellow livery would be abandoned in favour of an art-car design by famous artist Mark Olson. He came up with a concept called 'The Children of Le Mans'; each of the seven countries the car could race at in 2007 is depicted by a child like portrait. The car itself is painted a very deep blue and the portraits are accompanied by pictures of the star and the moon.

Unfortunately the car's striking livery captured more attention at Le Mans than the performance on track. Throughout the test and race weeks, the CA07 suffered from new car quirks and was finally forced to retire with accident damage. In the remainder of the season the Judd engined machine was raced with more success in the Le Mans Series and the ALMS. Two points finishes in the former and a two class podiums in the latter helped rescue the season for the British team.

Before the end of the 2007 season a deal was struck between Creation and AIM. As part of the agreement, the Japanese company would fund the development of an all new Judd V10 engine. The biggest difference with the existing 5.5 litre engine was the wider, 90 degree V-angle. The engine is part of a three year program with a victory at Le Mans as the ultimate goal. The Japanese backing enabled Creation to go for a two-car effort in the 2008 Le Mans Series. The team also received an invitation for Le Mans for a single CA07 AIM.

The first public appearance of the CA07 came during the official Le Mans Series test at Paul Ricard in March of 2008. Liveried in the familiar bright metallic blue, the new racer impressed greatly, clocking the fastest time of the petrol engined LMP1 cars and recording the highest top speed outright. The difference with the fastest of the well developed Audis was just over two seconds.

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  Article Image gallery (27) Specifications