Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: At the apex, blocking your pass.
Building In Reliability and Crash-Worthiness...
For many of us, making modifications to a track car or a race car means making sure the modification workd and won't fall apart. And most of the time that's as far as it goes and things usually turn out OK.
This weekend at TWS, we had two similar incidents where this didn't happen. Both involved off-track excursions, damage to the car's splitter and front fascia and, more importantly, collateral damage that was much more serious than the sheetmetal damage.
First incident, one of the American Iron cars eneded up taking an extended trip offtrack and smashed up his splitter pretty thoroughly. The smashed-up splitter was bad enough, but one of the supports punched a hole in his oil filter. He was able to shut the engine down quickly and the oil stayed off the track, so no harm was done to the engine.
The second incident also involves an off-track excursion -- this time the driver dropped two wheels off and smashed his splitter into the curbing, ripping an oil line off and spraying oil all over his exhaust. Tahankfully it didn't catsh fire.l but the smoke was so bad he couldn't see a thing and had to blindly get off track. Unfortunately this washed down T1 pretty thoroughly wil iol early on in the race and he ended up parked in the inside of T1b for the remainder of the race. Dunno if his engine was hurt or not, but it doesn't take lont to pump 7 qus of oil out of an AN-12 hose. Again, a slitter support was the culpret.
So, if you make changes, be thinking about what kind of collateral damage they could to. Route oil components well away from damage-prone areas if you can (another reason I like oil-to-coolant heat exchangers instead of oil-to-air radiators.)
-- Robert King
NASA AI #42, Texas
Instructor, NASA Texas Region
Instructor, TWS Perf. Driving School