Volvo Penta lights the way at Losail

The Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar, is home to some of the world’s most exciting sporting events. And putting the power behind Losail’s renowned, high-octane nighttime races is Volvo Penta.

In Doha’s scorching midday heat, silence hangs over the Losail International Circuit — the only movement visible on the speedway is the heat haze rippling over its deceptively slick surface. During the day, the racetrack looks abandoned. But a drop in the ambient temperature causes a sudden spike in activity and, as night falls, Losail comes thundering to life — the roar of the crowd, the rev of engines, the pungent smell of burning rubber and the track, lit up by 3,600 floodlights.

In 2006, Pramac — one of Volvo Penta’s global OEMs — won a bid to supply the circuit with 44 generators, which provided power to the floodlights. This year, in a successful contract renewal with the Qatar Motor & Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Pramac will replace the old generators, containing Volvo Penta TAD941GE engines, with new units installed with Volvo Penta TAD1342GE engines.

With Qatar’s daytime heat hazardous to customized, multi-million-dollar motorcycles, the Losail International Circuit became home to the world’s first MotoGP nighttime race.

Cool under pressure

“After receiving positive feedback about our last set of Volvo Penta-powered generators, which were installed at Losail in 2006, we wanted to provide QMMF with units that were equal in quality and performance,” says Francesco Napoli, marketing manager at Pramac. In recent years, Pramac has become an international leader in energy supply to the sporting world, thanks to its innovative, dynamic designs and proven experience for complex energy plants.

“The durability, reliability and fuel consumption of the Volvo Penta TAD1342GE engines make them ideal for use in Pramac’s 44 GSW diesel generators, which can each produce 330kVA.” Each generator can also create around 11MW of energy collectively — powering more than 3,600 floodlights and other light fixtures around the circuit.

Given the blistering temperatures in Qatar, Pramac required an engine that could operate effectively in intense heat. The TAD1342GE is equipped with piston cooling, a belt-driven coolant pump and a water distribution duct, all designed to maintain a controlled working temperature in the cylinders and combustion chambers. Each generator is also fitted with sand trap filters to guard against desert storms.

“Volvo Penta supplies more than 1,000 engines a year to Pramac, which has production factories in Italy, Spain, China and Brazil,” says Renato Deda, Volvo Penta industrial sales manager for Italy and Spain. “As a valued customer, we are proud to support Pramac’s continued cooperation with MotoGP.”

Francesco says: “Volvo Penta’s quality, flexibility and excellent aftersales support are second-to-none; Losail is an important contract for Pramac, but with a business partnership reaching back 20 years, we knew we could trust Volvo Penta.”