Friday, January 18, 2013

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Back when I first joined my current race team we ran Standard Sedans in Speedway, the new team had never raced before and my experience was limited to six years in a Super Modified team.
We started off all enthusiastic and helpful, lending tools and giving a hand where we could but before long we found people taking advantage, it all went wrong when we had about a thousand dollars worth of tools stolen while we were watching our car race; even though the pits were packed with people no one saw anything…. Hmm!

We put a lot of time and effort into our car and started to do very well, soon we had complaints of cheating laid against us, the marshals checked the car and even went to the trouble of making us have the engine stripped and certified, of course we were cleared but the team talked of nothing else for weeks, valuable time lost!
A few seasons passed and we changed to Formula 500 which is a far more competitive class, we bought one secondhand car and new motor here in Australia and soon ordered a new American car/motor package. We invented tools when we needed something special, like Formula One style car lifters and movers and had our own machine shop make and modify all manner of bits and pieces to make the cars lighter, stronger and faster. Our aim originally was to manufacture and sell these parts to offset the huge costs of inventing them but soon we found people photographing our equipment and making copies.
We lost two seasons with a few motor explosions and a couple of bad crashes. Last season a few days after a full knee reconstruction our driver had to be carried to the car, placed inside and the cockpit packed tight with foam so he couldn’t be injured, he didn't race but only circulated…all to get the few points for turning up.

This year we have two new American fuel injected methanol motors to prove. Two, fast but raw motors that just didn't go the way they should... but exactly the same as another dozen new motors bought and used by other teams in Australia. Unlike the others we didn't run them, instead we drilled holes all over one motor and fitted it with dozens of sensors, tested, modified and retested, over and over until we got this little 634cc four cylinder motor going as well as we could.
Last weekend we raced our new motor for the first time and gave the rest of the Australian Formula 500 teams a big wake up call. Our car went much better than anything anyone could throw at us and we won the night and the final by half a lap.
Between races we kept the car covered with tarps and refused to allow anyone to see or photograph it. There are only a couple of things you could actually see that we've changed on the outside but the team has learned valuable lessons from the past and this year we are playing the same mind games the others had used against us. Already there are calls of cheating and again the marshals will check and audit our cars but this time we are laughing about it….

*I think I found the problem....



Windsmoke. said...

I don't really blame you for going down the same path as everyone else because i reckon what's good for one is good for all.

River said...

Yes, play just as dirty as "they" do, but keep it legal too.
I know nothing about cars, so that last photo means nothing to me. The two cars up on stands look like the sort of plastic models my brother used to put together.

Tempo said...

Hi Windsmoke, there are plenty of 'nice guys' in racing, but theyre the ones that circulate at the back and never win. It seems all a bit nasty to me but thats racing for you.
Hi River, It's really not in my nature to play dirty, I like the problem solving side of things but the team boss really want to win and thats what drives the is nice to win some though.
They do look like toy cars but that belies their performance, they wheel stand the whole length of the straights and only back off to get the front wheels on the track for the corners or you'd run straight into the wall.
Any time you open any motor and find 'bits' inside is bad news, this one trashed a new eighteen grand motor...

Belle said...

Racing seems like an exciting thing to do. Wow, I envy you the fun in trying to make your car the best. It is too bad so many people are dishonest. I'm so glad you won!

Gabriel said...

It's great that you guys won.
I like the problem solving side of things, too. Unfortunately, solving the problem isn't always through the squeaky cleanest 'mr. nice guy' route.
Hope the seasons continues to be a very successful one. cheers

Jen said...

Am I a horrible person for not thinking your approach is bad? It sounds a bit like the person in junior high who whined because I used a cover sheet so he couldn't copy my answers and had to do his own damned work.

Tempo said...

Hi Belle,Racing is exciting but I dont actually drive the car, in fact I dont even go to all the meetings. I stay home and wait for the damaged car to come back to me.
Hey Gabriel, winning is the cream on the cake, but the cake is still pretty good on it's own. We cant actually cheat, the marshals keep a very close eye on us to make sure we stay within the rules. (no fun at all)
Hi Jen, Every team scrambles for an edge, we have some very talented machinists, mechanics and fabricators so we have our own edge which others copy any way they can. After we spend lots of money and time getting something just right the competition just copy's us and gets our edge for nothing. To stay ahead we have to keep our secrets.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Hey, I had no idea you were into super mods. Learn something everyday. I have just spent the last half hour catching up on your posts.


Bronwyn McDonald said...

Morning, you are sooo interesting and I did not know that you were doing this. I hope that you're not taking any sport's enhancing drugs... :)or you will be on the news! I wonder if they will be testing the spectators next?:) Byeeee

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