Tag Archive: vintage racing



Time is important to racers, particularly track time.  Lets face it most of us don’t get but so many chances to actually get on the track. Maybe a Friday test day, if the work schedule, and budget, allows.

And because we don’t have much time we go out and run laps, and think that maybe a new set of tires, or a different transmission or engine package is what we need.  But maybe that’s not the answer, maybe we could improve the car closer to its potential without spending a load of money. (Before anyone says anything I do exclude new tires from this, that is an area that there is no getting around) So how do you make the car better, given the limited amount of time?

Get organized. First, record what is on the car now. Make detailed notes of every part of the setup, sway bars, springs, tire pressure etc. Then record the results, and here you have to be honest with yourself. What did it do?

Then every time you go out on track, change something on the car,. What it is you and your crew can figure out. But try something different and again record the results. And record the data when it is relevant, as soon as the car comes off the track. You don’t know what it is  that may wake your car up.

But one thing is for sure if you don’t try you wont get any better.

 

 

Advertisements

For the past several years we have had the pleasure to be involved in the Trans-Am Series.

Baucom Motorsports Trans-Am Mustang

Baucom Motorsports Trans-Am Mustang sponsored by Roadraceparts.com

We are proud to announce that we are once again partnering with Baucom Motorsports as they contest the 2013 Trans-Am Series crown. John Baucom who drives the car is a veteran competitor in the series and we look forward to helping him achieve mutual success in the coming year.

As both the team owner as well as the driver John knows the value of reliability and service. And in his words : “As a professional racer I push my car to the limit.  RoadRaceparts.com provides the parts and knowledgeable service to keep my car and team in top condition.”

The series opener will be March 3 in Sebring Florida. The 11 race series will compete at some of the classic road racing courses in both the US and Canada.

Please visit us on the web at http://www.roadraceparts.com or contact us by phone at (804) 921-0902.


So, its almost the middle of February now, and the racing season is just about to get started. Now before anyone gets too excited I know that in some of the warmer climes they have already done a few races.

Baucom Motorsports Mustang

John Baucom and the Baucom Motorsports Mustang. You may recognize the name on the hood.

So what are your plans for the year? Are you going to compete this year, and if so to what extent? Seems like quite a few cars have been built over this past winter. If reports are accurate there were quite a few TA2 cars built. Whether all on them will race in the Trans-Am remains to be seen. Certainly there are other venues that they could be raced in. In addition at least two chassis builders are building cars which could be eligible to compete in either SCCA GT1 or Trans-Am.

Both of these are good signs and maybe it means that either the economy is doing better or people have gotten tired of sitting on their money and are going to come out and play again. We intend to put forth a stronger effort this year than we did last year on multiple levels.

BTW: before I forget, I spoke with a professional chassis builder last week about his plans. He is going to submit drawings of a new chassis to a sanctioning body. Why is that news? Because currently there is only one approved chassis for the class. I wish him well, he does good work and competition is always good.

Dont forget to give us a call or email if you need anything for your car. Check us out at http://www.roadraceparts.com. If you dont see what you’re looking for we are constantly adding stuff. Brake Caliper seals and kits for Alcon and brembo will be added today, Performance Friction in the next little while.

Safety Spring for Centerlok type wheel nut. In stock today

Safety Spring for Centerlok type wheel nut. In stock today required in the Trans-Am series. Their price $10.00 each. Our price $9.50

 


It’s no secret to anyone not wearing rose-colored glasses that Motorsports is approaching a crisis. This is not confined to the U.S. but is a global issue. Whether you are talking about F1 or road racing in the U.S. unsettling things are happening. Things that do not bode well for those concerned.

In F1, generally considered to be the pinnacle of racing, the HRT team barely made it to the end of the 2012 season. They are not listed on the FIA’s list of teams to contest the 2013 championship. While many of the world’s major companies are involved, I doubt if other than Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull any of the teams are awash in cash. (Forgot Mercedes, but it may be approaching put up or shut up time for them.

Nascar had declines in both attendance and viewers from 2010. I don’t mention 2011 because that was a slight increase over 2010. In other words the decline has resumed.

Road racing in the U.S. is a total basket case. Grand Am has been on life support for its top class, Daytona prototype for some time. ALMS, while enjoying a wide range of manufacturer, primarily import, support had been for sale for a few years now. Now it has agreed to be purchased by Grand Am. (Remember Grand Am is owned by the France family, i.e. Nascar)

Trans-Am is gamely trying to recapture  the glory from the days of manufacturer involvement with the pony cars in the 60’s and 70’s. While the introduction of what are in essence stock car chassied pony cars bodes well, the lack of a viable TV contract is a MAJOR constraint.

Even vintage racing has taken a hit. Car counts are down at many venues, despite the fact that this is one of the most affordable ways to participate, maybe not race, that there is.

So what is to happen? Will all the brave talk of the “new car” in Nascar bring fans back? Will Twitter return Nascar back to its glory days of only a few years ago? Or, will a Generation 6 spec race car provide the same type of racing that has caused fans to abandon the sport in droves? And is Twitter another way to keep up with the sport without actually attending races?

As to GrandAm/ALMS what are they going to do? Will they try to make it a road racing version on Nascar? Or capitalize on the strengths of the two series?

Trans- AM is returning to the classic road racing circuits in the coming year. The addition of Sebring and Daytona, plus a return to VIR can only be viewed as positives. But even more so is the alignment with SVRA. That is probably the most natural fit for them. But still the major players aren’t coming in without a TV contract. Hopefully that will be addressed, because it is great racing.

Hopefully 2013 will be a year for growth in motorsport. But there is something going on in the world regarding Motorsports beyond the economy, and the powers that be need to address it. Iphones sell millions on the day they are introduced, but Nascar was down 24% in the 18-34 demo. Hmm? That should be speaking to somebody.

Now lets see, I have a car, all it needs is a few upgrades, and  if I could find a driver with some money………..


The has been a fairly interesting thread over on the GT1DA.com website recently. In the forum section an individual posted that, in essence, it was time for the SCCA’s GT1 class to be returned to the amateurs. That the class had been hijacked by the Trans-Am racers and had become so skewed that no amateur had a chance of winning. In the article he, to my surprise, named Tony Ave and Jim Derhaag as being the main perpetrators of this theft.

While I found it a little difficult to follow, it appears that he had three main complaints with the rules. One. The weight breaks were such that you had to have a 358 engine to compete. Two. The cost and complexity, of adjustable sway bars. Thirdly. The cost of a three link rear suspension, where the upper link extends up into the driver compartment.

Then, in a move that I really dont understand, he complained about the cost of a HANS device and the requirement that it be made mandantory. These were all items which he suggested should be rescinded for the good of the sport and the financial well being of the competitors.

Now I have no idea how you feel about this matter, or if you even care. To me however it appears to be so same old argument. “Racing is too expensive for the average competitor, and something needs to be done about it”. And you know that is correct. However, there is no turning back, once the technology is out there you cant do a Vulcan mind meld and force people to unlearn it. Short of that its probably a thing where if you cant afford it, you need to look for an alternative.

I do think that the SCCA and similar groups should examine ways to reduce the costs to the competitors. At the same time we dont want GT racing to become a spec series. If you really want to see out of control costs look no further than Nascar. There with basically a spec car series, teams are spending increasing amounts for really small returns. Why? because in a spec class it only takes a small advantage to seperate the winners from the losers.

In GT road racing, we are fortunate to have vintage racing. There the older cars can still be competitive with their peers long after their time of glory has passed them by. Maybe instead of trying to keep the times from changing, those who would advocate that, should give vintage a try.

But to quote Dennis Miller: “thats only my opinion. I could be wrong”.

 


Today I thought that against my better judgement I would revisit a subject that has been already beaten to death. And for that I apologize in advance. But I thought I would try to see how you feel about it.

For the past day or so, I have been involved in a thread on Facebook about “cheating” in motorsports. To give the short version of the story, the individual who started the thread accuses the race sanctioning body of manipulating the races and therefore the results. While I have said that in my view condoning, and even encouraging cheating by the teams is equally wrong in my view. So as you can imagine we have agreed to disagree. Or, at least I have.

Looking at the issue it appears that motorsport in general is divided into two camps. To make a broad generalization it appears that road racing is far less forgiving of outright bending or breaking of the rules. Back when I was club racing in the SCCA, they didn’t fool around with some monetary penalty which depending on the depth of your pockets could be either devastating or a slap on the wrist. Rather the most common penalty would be a suspension of a few races to think about it. On the professional side, the penalties seem to be more likely to be things that either penalize the team or sponsor. A race suspension, monetary fines, or a loss of championship points. But seldom is there not some major punishment for an infraction of the rules. F1, of course is known to be extremely heavy handed with monetary fines.

But it appears that to sum up the mindset is this. It is perfectly fine to take your interpretation of the rules right up to the very edge. An example being the use of the hole for the jack in the floor of the Brawn F1 car to feed air into the diffuser. Maybe in the spirit of the rule thats a little edgy, but it is legal. However its not ok to deliberately break the rules, like an oversize fuel cell. If you do that you better have good lawyers to represent you at the hearing.

On the other hand there appears to be a culture in oval racing that its all a game, kind of like the Roadrunner and the Coyote.  That you can do whatever you can get away with. That its just being creative and that its not really cheating. In fact, some of the most revered figures have been known for their “creativity”.

So I’m curious as to how you feel about it. Please answer the poll question below and lets see how you feel about it.


Well, its almost time once again. Time to shake off the winter doldrums and start back to racing. The Daytona 24 hour is history along with the Grand Am support event. In Spain the F1 teams having all done their ritual launches of the new cars, fired off the first test of the year at Jerez.  This weekend will see the first race of the V8 Stockcar Series season.

So, are you ready? Have you almost got the car ready? Are all the parts here, just waiting to be put on? Or is it the old as soon as I get my tax refund check, I will knock it out.

Whichever one it is, its an exciting time, everyone is going to win the championship, set new lap records and all the disappointment from last year will be forgotten.

Maybe for you its something totally different. Regardless its getting to be that time again.


As many of you the V8 StockCar Series has been around for, I believe 9 years. That makes it one of if not the longest consecutively running road racing series in this country. As I mentioned we will be doing a series of articles on all the respective classes in this series.

But before that I want to give a shout out to their season opener next weekend at Sebring. If you get the chance, get down there and check it out. They put on a good show. I’m upset because I want to see the tube frame Falcon that Tommy Riggins built!

Crane Cams V8 StockCar Series kicks off 2012 at Sebring

The Crane Cams V8 StockCar Road Racing Series will kick off its’ ninth season at Historic Sebring International Raceway February 11 & 12 running with the Central Florida Region SCCA. The Sebring event will be the first round of the “Winter Heat”, with round two the following week at Palm Beach. Some thirty plus competitors in our four classes are expected to compete for points, bragging rights, and prizes. The Porterfield Enterprises V8 GT-1 classes features some outstanding drivers and machines such as four time series champion Dave Machavern in his Heritage Motorsports, Tommy Riggins built, silhouette 1963 Ford Falcon, multi time V8 Series winner Charles Wicht in his Rocketsports Corvette, Larry Beebe in a Tony Ave prepped ex Trans Am Mustang, Ray Webb in a Riggins Chassis Corvette, V8 winner Robert Borders in his C6 Corvette, George Prentice in his winged Monte Carlo and more.
The LG Motorsports V8 GT-2 class should be a battle between the Goldin Brothers ex Grand Am Rolex Mazda RX8 driven be Keith Goldin, Ed Braswell’s
ex World Challenge Corvette, and the giant killing Mazda RX7 of Bill McGavic. The Goldin Brothers’ Mazda was constructed by Tommy Riggins and competed for a number of years in Grand Am, including several Rolex 24 appearances. Braswell has a very fast Doug Rippie Built Corvette and he will be tough on his home course. McGavic led the class points battle most of last year, but was unable to make the ARRC championship race costing him a chance at the title. Despite being way underpowered compared to the big bore cars in the class, McGavic cut competitive lap times using the nimble handling and great brakes of his lightweight racer.In the Howe Racing V8 GTA class, 2011 Champ Randy Walker will be on hand in his brand new Howe Racing built Camaro. V8 StockCar rookie of the year Cameron Lawrence will be bring out his Mike Cope Racing prepared Impala. Cameron has been competitive at every track he has raced at during the past year and grabbed a podium finish in the TA2 class at the Trans Am finale at Road Atlanta. Georgia’s Ricky Sanders is entered in his PitBoxes.com Monte Carlo and he will make some noise. Alabama’s Bobby and Roger Reuse will fly their beautiful new ARP bodied Camaro’s and either is fully capable of taking the win. Veteran stock car road racer John Goodson will have the only Ford in the class in his 2010 Ford Fusion. Newcomer Mike Wilson will bring out his ex ASA Delco racer to test the the 12 hour circuit. Hall Robertson returns in his #62 Farner Barley & Associates late model type Monte Carlo. The spoiler in this class this weekend could very well be Tony Ave, the reigning SCCA Trans Am Champion, who will shoe the #167 Boden Masonry Monte Carlo owned by Larry and Debbie Beebe.

In the PitBoxes.com V8 SPO class Paul Breehne will debut his Ford Mustang, actually the same championship winning chassis from last year rebodied and prepared by Mike Breault at PMS Motorsports. Expect a good battle between Breehne and Lee Arnold in his Impala late model for the class honors.

In addition to the Crane Cams V8 Series points event the weekend will also feature the Nordic Camaro Cup. The Camaro Cup is a European Professional series that includes Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnusson and Grand Am driver Nic Jonnson in tube frame Camaro’s similar to our V8 GTA cars.

The Sebring weekend will be a spectator event and non SCCA members will be admitted for a very nominal charge.
The following weekend the series will move to Palm Beach International Raceway with the Historic Sportscar Racing group as will the Camaro Cup Series.

The V8 Series thanks it partners, especially our new title sponsor Crane Cams. Other partners are:

SCCA, Porterfield Enterprises, LG Motorsports, Howe Racing, PitBoxes.com, GoPro, RaceTalkRadio.com, Sunoco, Hoosier, Goodyear, FiveStar, RaceCar Engineering, RacingJunk.com, Roehrig-Enders, GrassRoots Motorsports Magazine, SafeRacer


Some of you may know that “the lump” is a term used to describe the engine in a car. Normally it refers to a race engine. That huge mass of iron, aluminum, titanium, unobtanium and who knows what else that resides under the hood of the car.

For most of us, I dare say we really have no idea what is inside of that big piece of metal. We rely on people who, because they are “engine builders” , tell us all kinds of stories about how complicated they are, how every piece is hand polished and machined to .00000000001 of an inch.  And of course since so much is involved it is a bargain indeed, regardless of the price. A price which no rational person would pay, and makes us live in mortal fear that the wife will discover. Having listened to many of those stories both as a former racer and a parts man for quite a few years, today I just smile.

So I thought I would share with you the tale of a couple of engines in my experience. Now what is special about these engines?  Not a thing. Two engines from different stages of my racing career, if you want to call it that. Just two collections of metal that started life at a couple of Ford plants somewhere in the world.

The first one was a V8, size and engine builder omitted to protect the innocent. Or maybe the guilty. But this was my first experience with a Gt1 car. And of course i had read all the stories and articles about the powerful Gt1 cars. So I had a local engine builder who specialized in short track cars build it. The only thing left from Ford was the block itself. One of the proudest days in my life was when I picked it up and paid the bill.

First let me say that we were/are amateur racers, and everything we knew could dance on the head of a pin. That thing was a pain from the day I got it. Constantly ran hot, not a lot of power,  despite the engine builders claims, or maybe I didn’t know what to expect, etc. On one occasion when we shut it off it was running fine.  When we next cranked it up it was missing, checked – bent pushrod.  Finally at its last scheduled race before it was to be replaced, the oil pressure began to drop,  and 10 laps later we drove it into the pits and retired. My brother looked under the hood and said “you might as well shut it off you have water coming out of the breathers”. When pulled out  and inspected, the webs in the block were busted in three places. needless to say was a great conversation piece and I still have some paperweights I think.

The other was a V6 Ford. We pulled this out of a juck car we bought for $200 to use the engine and transmission. Put it up on a stand, and scapped all the oil and dirt away so we could pull the pan off. Pulled all the rod and main bearings out. Didn’t measure anything, and replaced them with new std. bearings. Torqued everything back down, put the pan back on, and put the engine back in the car.

This engine ran  through the drivers school at Daytona and Charlotte. At Charlotte it got so hot, (idiot owner and friend had forgotten to tighten down the hold down clamp on the distributor so variable timing) that we finally had to put it in 4th gear, hold the brakes and choke it off. Did I mention that it had water running out of both exhaust pipes?

So we let it cool down, found every plastic pepsi bottle we could, filled them with water, put 2 cans of Bars Leak in the radiator and drove it the 200 miles home. After a couple of stops it sealed up and ran fine. Shaved both cylinder heads and it was as good as new.

Now this was no race engine of course, and didnt pretend to be one. But every time after that when the hand built race engine blew up or screwed up, we put that engine in and kept racing. You just couldn’t kill it. In fact a friend now has the car, and has had some more exotic, modern engines built for it.  But you know what he does when they go bad? Yep, back in goes that same old motor.

And the moral of this is that sometimes things exceed your expectations. Or, maybe you don’t know when you are well off.

Are you ever amazed how the old family cruiser keeps running after all this time? Remember the days when nobody had a car that made a 100,000 miles? Well I do.


lotusf1

If you follow motorsport, this is a bittersweet time of year. Until the Daytona 24 hours there is almost no racing, and in fact precious little testing. Therefore up passes for news is generally pretty uninteresting, and obviously was a streetch on the authors part.

The exception to this is the constant flow of information about the two largest racing series in the world, F1 and Nascar. Before anybody starts to aim their digital flamethrower in my direction, let me say that I know F1 is far and away the king of motorsport. And as you look at the news articles you can see why.

But every now and then somebody does something to make you sit up and take notice. This time it was Caterham F1,one of the newer F1 teams, formerly known as Lotus F1. But lets not get sidetracked as to why they are Caterham, and the former Renault team is now Lotus. I can explain, but I wont.

As you may recall, every year all the F1 teams unveil, or launch, their new cars. And this is one of the highlights of the winter doldrums. To finally get to see your heros and the all new car which will, hopefully, win the World Championship. Its the motor racing equivalent of when we were kids getting to see the new model Chevy/Ford/Dodge. Remember those days, when the cars were brought to the dealership all covered up so nobody could see them? Well, those days are gone, but not the F1 launches.

I digress however. So why if this happens every year was I impressed by the Caterham launch? After all these things happen every year, and they have been done in every type of location from exotic to mundane. From elegant and understated to way over the top. In fact, I was beginning to believe that the only way they could come up with something different was to shoot it out of a cannon and land it in a bunch of Hooters girls.

But instead they did something so different, yet simple that you have to wonder why nobody (that I know of) had done it. They simply announced that their launch would be the first of the year, AND it would be on the cover of F1 Racing magazine. Only the most widely read F1 magazine in the world. And of course they would follow with Facebook, and other digital media.

Of course some people got their issue early and the news was broken a day early. Which I’m sure caused a lot of crocodile tears at Caterham. And now ScarbsF1 has a great analysis of the car, F1 racing had a article to go along with the photos, etc.

All of this is just a long winded way to say that in a time where we wring our hands and blame the economy for every ill in motor sport what was this worth? In the name of full disclosure I must admit that I have been impressed by this teams PR savvy ever since its inception. That said,how much uncontested FREE publicity did those guys get from just having a simple idea? If you were a potential sponsor what would you think of such out of the box thinking.

So, if you’re out there trying to get somebody to help you with your racing, and your by the numbers presentation isn’t working, maybe you need to think about a different approach.