SBD Dallara – 2.0L XE

The SBD Dallara is driven by Matt Hillam & Steve Broughton in the British Sprint Championship. They also compete in some club events when time permits.



Castle Combe, Dick Mayo Sprint 23 July
Lydden Hill Sprint Report 16 July
Pembrey Sprint Report 4-5 June
Blyton Park Sprint Report 14-15 May
Goodwood, Bailey Sprint Report 7 May
Goodwood, Regis Sprint Report 23 April
Anglesey Sprint Report 2-3 April

Steve at Goodwood, May 2022
Picture: Kim Broughton

About 3 years ago, we took the Dallara down to Toby Phillips, (suspension guru), he measured the entire car’s geometry to see what improvements could be done to cope with ever increasing aero performance. After working through everything, he came up with a few simple geometry changes, which are possible with the standard Dallara adjustable suspension, but the biggest gain could be achieved from going to a rising rate rocker. This basically allows you to run a softer spring when the car is off aero and as the aero loads increase the spring rate rises with it. Toby had the original rockers were scanned and converted into a full 3D model, Toby then re-designed the rocker itself and the damper end eye lengths to give an increasing rate and to get it to fit within the available space. The original item is a cast unit that is then machined, a new casting would be incredibly expensive, so the design was sent to a company that manufactures a lot of parts for F1 teams, they picked a material to use and started machining it from solid. Unfortunately, this was just around the time that everything went into lockdown and with everything going on in the world, they have only just been finished now. Steve received them last week and as you can see from the photos, they are a thing of beauty! Steve spent an hour on Friday working out what was required to install them and then spent Sunday putting them on the car. Toby’s design is exceptional, although Steve hasn’t corner weighted the car yet, just by bolting everything on the standard ride height has remained exactly the same and he has only had to make changes to the breather system that passes between the suspension due to their increased length and position. The set up should now give us the ability to improve mechanical grip and stability under full aero.

SBD 2.0L XE Dallara rockers

The new high downforce wing for the SBD Dallara has now been finished by Fibre-lyte, thanks again to John, Stephen and their team for getting it completed. It has been quite a major task due to its complex shape. John Hughes has spent a lot of time designing the new wing to not only give a huge increase in downforce from the wing itself but also the floor by improving the efficiency of the floor at the same time. He has also worked hard on keeping drag to a minimum, this has resulted in a very slender design, which has given John Hansell a few challenges to manufacture. There were a few small modifications during its production. As you can see from beautiful result, that it was worth the time and effort. Steve managed grab and hour or two each night last week after finishing work to make changes to the floor to mount it to the tunnels. John Hansell has now got the front wing, which requires some further changes to ensure the car has aero balance. John Hughes is currently designing other small aerodynamic aids to further reduce drag. Matt is 3D printing them as they are finished, ready for fitting to the car.


Matt finished 3rd Overall in the British Sprint Championship 2021 and Steve finished 7th Overall.

Full details and results of SBD Events 2021

We have now added the next stage of the development of the aero package to the SBD Dallara. John Hughes has been working on the aero design with the full CFD model to improve downforce, reduce drag and aero balance. The most important area that he has concentrated on is the aero balance and to design upgrades that reduce the changes to the aero balance under accelerating and braking and although many of the original components were producing reasonable downforce, the changes in aero balance under different conditions wasn’t ideal and the aero balance was also too far forwards.

The first major change is to the design of the floor, which has shifted its centre of pressure rearwards significantly and the new shape also makes it more controlled. The floor has been up to John Hansell of Fibrelyte, who has machined new contoured components and bonded them to the floor, then applied a new carbon skin to complete the structure. Also added additional rear strakes along with a near centre tunnel design under the gearbox. The work looks amazing and we will be testing at Lydden tomorrow. If all goes well, we will be treating the car to a new set of Pirellis from Tripe M Motorsport since the newest set of tyres that we currently have are 3 years old and we have lost count of the number of runs that they have done. We have had our moneys worth out of them!

SBD Dallara rear floor

John Hughes has been working on the rear of SBD Dallara to improve downforce. He has currently designed some new sections to go into the funnels that now force air to the edge of the tunnel and added louvres on the exterior of the tunnels to allow some of this air to escape. The escaping air also changes the air flow around the tyres. The combination of the two improve downforce without any increase in drag.

John Hughes has spent a lot of time designing a new front wing for the SBD Dallara to do several things; improve air flow to the tunnels and help to reduce drag. it deflects air around the wheels and over the top of the wheels, the shape has been changed dramatically and additional components added to improve the air flow to the barge boards, it gives approximately a 6% overall increase in downforce without any increase in drag. Unfortunately at the moment there is a slight increase in bias towards the front of the car and John has been working on improving the rear downforce to re-balance the car.

John Hansell of Fibrelyte had been tasked with converting John Hughes’ model into a working item and due to its complex shape and design, John Hansell had many long hours of making it all come together. The barge boards have been moved outwards slightly and the new components on the outside of the side pods now all work together.

SBD Dallara new front wing

John Hughes has been working on the section in front of the rear wheels and designed a series of deflectors and slots which forces the air flow round the wheels reduces drag.  The slots within the design further increase the efficiency of the tunnels increasing the rear downforce. Matt has managed to 3D print these and they are now fitted to the car. This will help to balance the car further and John has nearly finished the design of some additional components that will need to be added to the tunnels to return the balance to normal. Unfortunately for Goodwood this weekend, we will have to increase the rear wing angle to compensate, which will compromise the car’s top speed that is all important at Goodwood.

Hopefully John Hughes will finish the designs and we can get John Hansell to manufacture the parts quickly for us, ready for the next event, so we can see an overall increase in downforce without any loss of top speed.

SBD Dallara aero modifications


John Hughes has designed some new aero components for the Dallara and John Hansell of Fibre-lyte has manufactured them for us. They are now partway through being mounted on to the car. They are designed to control the flow around edge of sidepod and keep the air attached, there will be other components coming to do more of the same further down the side of the car, which will increase the air flow to the rear diffuser.

SBD Dallara Aero Changes

Steve has been fitting the new carbon Kelvar wishbone covers, which allows us to neatly cover and protect the wheel speed sensor wiring making them quick to access if required.

Ark Racing are designing a new starter motor for 2.0L XE SBD Dallara using the latest Denso components, they allow for a far more compact and powerful unit. It should be about 1kg lighter and 1.6kw. Nick from Ark sent the 3D printed model down to us and Steve has done a trial fit and requested a few small changes to help with the installation. One of which is to clear the oil in-feed to the aluminium block and the other is to save a little more weight. Also allowing the starter motor to be removed far quicker if required, not that the original unit built by Ark has even required any maintenance in the past 6 years apart from a bush on the sliding engagement gear as would be expected.

2.0L XE SBD Dallara starter motor design model



Unfortunately due to the pandemic, the motorsport season didn’t start until the middle of July and the first sprint was the Dick Mayo Sprint at Castle Combe. We only travelled to events that we could get there and back in a day so were limited to Castle Combe, Goodwood and Abingdon.

Full details and results of SBD Events 2020

Goodwood, August 2020
Goodwood, August 2020

John Hansell at Fibre-lyte has made us a new lightweight carbon coil mounting plate for our 2.0L XE engine in the SBD Dallara. Steve assembled it with some new spacers, producing a weight saving of 113.72g.

After the spin on the fun run at Goodwood proving that slick tyres and antifreeze don’t mix, the edge of the floor had dug into the grass and damaged it. Fortunately John Hansell from Fibrelyte had made some spare edges for us when the floor was first done, so Steve did the initial work then Colin came in and gave up a day of his time to do the final fit and bonding. The car is now as good as new again and ready for Castle Combe the next day.

We have also made some small set up changes to spring rates and ride heights, which will give us more grip at low speed and we have made some changes so the car is still stable at high speed. If all goes well, this is useful information for the major changes to the operation of the rear suspension, which will be fitted over the winter.


John Hughes has been working on a new front wing design for the Dallara to further improve downforce reduced drag at the same time maintaining and potentially improving the downforce that the floor is able to produce. The new designs are well on their way and we will show more information later. Whilst testing the current design, he has spotted a small gain that could be achieved by a modification to the rear of the front wing edge plates, they are currently producing some turbulence, which John has suggested this simple modification, which will reduce the turbulence. You can see from the model, the return on the end of the wing end plate has now been removed, which Matt carried out this week. Only a small gain but every gain matters.

SBD Dallara front wing end plates

Gearbox & Diff
With the success of the changes to the diff settings, Mark Bailey came up and changed the diff ramps again, so we now get a more progressive take up under acceleration and braking. Hopefully the results are another step forwards, there is always a potential for some low speed understeer, which if it does occur we think we can dial out. The changes so far have improved the stability in transition between braking and accelerating. We also replaced the first gear on Mark’s advice due to the number of standing starts the car does puts a huge strain on it and the teeth are starting to show some signs of stress after nearly 5 seasons of motorsport. Ready to test at our next event at Goodwood.

SBD Dallara Gearbox

MBE9MD Upgrades
We have now upgraded the 2.0L XE SBD Dallara with a new high spec 9MD display, which will be available to buy soon. The high spec display is now able to receive all the information from the steering wheel and transmit is over CAN to the MBE ECU. This significantly reduces wiring, so only 4 wires are required from the steering wheel to the ECU. (+12v, Ground, CAN High, CAN Low) Our steering wheel is equipped with all the features that can be feed into the steering wheel:
Up paddle
Down paddle
Neutral Button
Launch/Traction Array
Engine Start Button

In the past we were using 13 wires from the steering wheel to the car, so this change to 4 wires reduces weight, complexity and frees up extra inputs on the MBE ECUs that could be used for other functions. The fact that we are only using 12v feed and CAN, if for any reason the wiring to the steering wheel becomes shorted out, greater protection is possible due to the design of the circuitry, which cannot be achieved when using sensitive analogue inputs. We have been asked in the past to do wireless connections, but they are not durable in a motorsport environment and we usually point out how often do any of your wireless electronic devices fail to communicate with each other!


We ran the Dallara with the camera in the side pod and the wool tassels attached to the new barge board design and the trailing edge of the front wing. Both Steve & Matt thought the wool tassels showed that the aero flow in our limited understanding looked perfect, we wait for John Hughes to confirm with his professional eye as to how good it is actually working and what changes he wants to make before moving on to the new front wing design, which he is currently working on. Thanks to John Hughes for the design and John Hansell for manufacturing the components and designing a brilliant mounting that is simplistic to look at but keeps them perfectly positioned.

After Castle Combe, the data was looked at closely by Matt and Steve, the car was significantly better than it had been and Matt came over and made small geometry changes to the car that should improve it further. It was also noticed in the logging that a few of the gear changes were slower than expected on the downshifts, so the car has been partially stripped and Mark Bailey from MBR is going through its Hewland FTR gearbox and giving it a full inspection. The gearbox hasn’t been looked at for 3 years now, which just shows how well this box performs. Mark gave the gearbox a thorough strip down yesterday and found the tiniest amount of wear on a selector fork and this was switched over to the reverse gear. The dog rings looked like they had never been used. He adjusted part of the selector mechanism, which had come slightly loose over time, 1st gear itself is showing some signs of stress on the teeth themselves and this is due to the number of starts we do and the sticky Pirelli tyres. Mark said it is fine at the moment and we will replace it at the end of the season. We have to keep a check on the diff housing due to the high output and loads put through it caused by our form of motorsport. So in general very good health and ready for the weekend.



Full details and results of SBD Events 2019

During the 2019 season, John Hughes, who is combining his studies for an MSc in Motorsport Engineering at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David by working in collaboration with us, was making aerodynamic upgrades on our Dallara F3 as part of a major live project. Full report available on UWTSD website

Steve at Anglesey with lots of wool tassels stuck to the car to shown the air flow!
Picture:Kim Broughton

Steve at Anglesey with lots of wool tassels stuck to the car to shown the air flow! Picture:Kim Broughton



Full details and results of SBD Events 2018

Steve finished the season 5th in the British Sprint Championship (fastest 2L) and won the Racing Cars 1600cc – 2000cc Class.
Matt finished the season 6th in the British Sprint Championship, just 2 points behind Steve. The battle had been decided at the Anglesey Sunday run-offs!


We swapped to Pirelli tyres for the last event of the season so we had made set up changes to cope with the slight change in diameter. The new tyres made a huge improvement to the car’s performance, thanks to Triple M Motorsport UK & Pirelli.

Matt at Blyton Park, September 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton

Matt at Blyton Park, September 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton


We went to Pembrey with our engine upgrade, the 2.0L XE with internal modifications to the TP300 engine spec performed very well, it had stronger torque through the entire rev range and carried on pulling longer at high rpm. We were also finally able to test the suspension changes we had made to the rear of the car, they have given improved feel but unfortunately we needed a softer rear roll bar, which we hadn’t got at the event. Also we need a small increase in rear downforce to obtain perfect balance, which will allow us to use all the power of the engine. Both Matt & Steve agreed that the car is fantastic to drive and once the small improvements have been done, the car will go even faster.

Steve at Goodwood, May 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton

Steve at Goodwood, May 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton

Matt at Castle Combe, March 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton

Matt at Castle Combe, March 2018
Picture: Kim Broughton

The SBD Dallara has been be away at Hansell Composites having new aerodynamics designed and manufactured. John Hansell has created new ground effect tunnels and is nearing completion of the new side pods to further enhance the aerodynamics and efficiency of the new floor.
First sight of the new bodywork on the 2.0L XE SBD Dallara testing at Goodwood in freezing temperatures and snow flurries. We struggled to keep the oil temperature at it’s optimum.



Full details and results of SBD Events 2017

After Pembrey the SBD Dallara went John Hansell at Fibrelyte to have new bodywork part made, then it was going to BTB Exhaust for a new exhaust system.



Full details and results for SBD Events 2016


We tested the SBD 2.0L XE Dallara at Goodwood one afternoon, we had been hoping for a dry day to test the handling set up. Although the rain had stopped at lunchtime the track was still very wet in places and greasy. It did allow us to prove the latest refinements to the traction control and revised gearbox settings. Steve & Matt both agreed that the gearbox control software was now so smooth that you had to look at the display to see that it had changed gear. We were also driving on slick tyres on a cold wet track, so the traction control was working quite hard, but again this felt very smooth and it wasn’t until you looked at the logged data, that you could see how little grip there was.
Terry & Graham were also testing their Lola’s new cooling system to help control the temperature of their Judd V8 better, the temperature seemed much improved. They also ran the latest traction and gearbox control software.

Steve testing at Goodwood, March 2016
Picture: Kim Broughton

Steve testing at Goodwood, March 2016
Picture: Kim Broughton


Steve and Matt have been working on the Dallara over the winter break, the new upgraded engine is fitted with more horsepower and torque, now 300bhp and 200lbft torque. We have also added a heat exchanger of the same type fitted to Mark Smith’s SBD Reynard to help control oil and water temperatures better. New software is always being created with added features, which has also been included. John Hansell has supplied us with revised aero components, which should significantly improve downforce and at the same time help to reduce drag (we have to do something significant to keep up with the aero improvements that Steve Miles and Naser Teymourian from Oxford Brookes University!). Matt has now delivered the car up to Alan Mugglestone to get the suspension set up again, this needs to be properly checked after Bill’s excursion at Goodwood last year. Alan will then test the car at Blyton, hopefully along with Matt to set the balance of the car with the new aero and at the same time test a range of new products that we have been developing.

SBD Dallara 2L XE TP300bhp graph

SBD Dallara 2L XE TP300bhp graph



Full details and results of SBD Events 2015


We stripped down our Dallara’s 2.0L XE TP290bhp engine after 2 seasons of competition use, along with lots of testing during that period. The engine is in fantastic condition, the leak down was between 0 – 2% on the cylinders, the tappet clearances were still within their original setting range and in fact everything on the entire engine was virtually at the same tolerance as when it was first built.

This is the new carbon airbox that we have been developing over the last few years and testing on our SBD Dallara. It has a built in air filter and it has especially developed to help improve the performance of the engine, but also to help to reduce intake noise, which is becoming ever more important with the increased need to reduce noise levels.

New carbon air box



Full details and results of SBD Events 2014


We didn’t have time to run the engine on the dyno prior to the event, but we used the self-programming option on the ECU during the event. The engine ran faultlessly for the whole day, obtaining speeds of up to 165mph.

The bodywork had been vinyl wrapped the week before the first British Sprint Championship round at Castle Combe. We then only had enough time to screw the car together to drive it up & down outside the workshop before setting off to the first event.

SBD Dallara exhaust system

The exhaust system has also been custom made by BTB Exhausts Ltd with 2 exhaust boxes to help reduce the decibel level.


The original Speiss Vauxhall engine was removed from the Dallara & a new SBD 2.0L XE engine has been built with a new design of dry sump system and cam cover made (with thanks to Kevan at Racecar Warehouse and Colin at Insignis) and built specifically for this type of single seater allowing the engine to sit as low as possible in the car.

The engine has our high specification throttle bodies on it and a custom made air box has been constructed, which is a re-design of 1996 airbox to incorporate the latest developments. This has been done to help reduce noise levels with the ever increasing problems at some circuits.

The car is running the latest MBE9A9 ECU which controls everything on the car from simply starting the engine all the way through to full control of the gearbox, including launch and traction control. There are no relays involved in any way in the car, simply pin to pin which reduces weight & simplifies the installation. Everything is controlled from the steering wheel.

Jenvey have been developing an EGAS motor unit and we have been helping with the functionality over the past year, ready to sell as an option on our main throttle body kits. The advantage of EGAS means that we can control the throttle completely with the MBE9A9 ECU, adjusting its speed and position. This allows the engine to produce optimum response for torque and power when required, but also we can limit the amount of throttle for launch and potentially traction control.


Matt Hillam bought the Dallara in June 2013 and ran it at Castle Combe, Dick Mayo Sprint at the end of June. After that both him and Steve stripped the car completely.

Matt at Castle Combe, June 2013
Picture: Kim Broughton

Matt at Castle Combe, June 2013
Picture: Kim Broughton