Racing Priorities.............What are they ?
There are many things that have to be taken into consideration when building a competitive race car, some more important than others.....................
The priority for any race car is driver comfort and safety. While it is important to have lots of horse power and good brakes in a road racing car such as our Corvette, it is even more important to be sure the driver is comfortable and safe when driving the car. In the photos hereafter I will point out some of the specific items built into our car for the purpose of driver safety and comfort.
In this photo you can see many items specific to the purpose of driver safety and comfort.................they include,
a removable sterring wheel for quick exit in case of an accident, side impact bars protecting the driver from a side hit from another car, a heat proof shield floor mat keeping the drivers compartment as cool as possible, the two way radio for communication to the pits, note the mounting is within arms length to the driver once strapped into the seat to allow volume control, etc., the red "push to talk" button is mounted on the steering wheel itself eleminating any need to remove a hand from the wheel to communicate to the pit, the dash board is built in a manner that is easy to read for the driver to see at a glance while on the track, the electrial kill switch is within reach of the driver in case of emergency all electrial current can be shut down quickly. These are but a few of the items just in this photo, check out the next photo...............
Perhaps the most important piece of safety equipment on any race car is the fire equipment. Our Corvette is no exception, we have a fire system plumbed to the engine compartment and the driver compartment. Note in the photo the "pin" located just below the panic button, this allows the bottle to remain in the car at all times, the pin is removed when the car hits the track, then replaced when returning to the pits.
Another item seen here is the extra heat and sound pad over the tunnel area. In our Corvette the exhaust pipes run under the floor pan and beside the transmission just below the tunnel, as a result the cockpit can fill with extreme heat, this pad eleminates a vast majority of the excess heat and in turn keeps the driver more comfortable and alert while on the track.
Another item seen here and in our next photo, sometimes taken for granted, is the drivers seat.
Note that the seat if formed to fit the driver and to keep the driver in a comfortable and stable position when in a heavy "G" force corner. When racing such a car as our Corvette there is a tremoundous need to keep the driver in a position centered on the steering wheel to maintain complete control of the car.
It is very important when driving a race car the driver become one with the car, it is impossible to drive the car to a win if the driver is simply "in" the car. He must "be one with the car", know every inch of fender, know when and where he can make a move to pass and when he cannot, he must be able to "feel" the car, impossible if he is sliding in the seat when driving. A good well fitting seat is but one piece of safety equipment but a very important one, great care should be taken when considering the purchase of a race seat.
There are many good vendors all over the US and Europe for safety equipment, make your selection very carefully when considering safety equipment for your race car. Here are but few of our suppliers for the safety gear seen in these photos .............
Summit Racing, Racing Electronics, Sparco
using these links you can get a good idea of what equipment is availble for driver safety and comfort.
We are scheduled (and excited) to run the upcoming SCCA race in Portland, Oregon on April 18th and 19th with our Corvette. We will give you a full report complete with a few track photos on our return.
Here's to good safe racing, see you around the next corner !