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Yearly Archives: 2021

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 5

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 5

So being on an auto race team usually means traveling a lot, unless you are the big rig driver, then it means that’s all you do, because you are either driving the big rig or working at a race. It is so common for people to say how cool or glamourous it must be, being on a race team. It really is not, you see airports and racetracks, that is about it. Hey, I am not saying that it isn’t exciting, most of us are adrenaline junkies, we cannot get enough of this stuff. Back in the 90’s, I worked on separate race teams in Europe and in the US, I traveled back and forth working at races on both continents, not to mention I had a budding new Porsche shop that I had just opened in 1992, so needless to say, I wasn’t resting much, but I loved it. Currently, I am residing in a campground at Sardis Lake just outside of Oxford, MS. I had just spent a couple of weeks prepping the racecar at a close friend’s shop, Doc’s Bimmer shop. Doc opened his doors for us and ... read more

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 4

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 4

Okay, so once we received the new racecar, this was the perfect time to start keeping record of every component on the car. Tracking every component even if it seemed menial, was essential to the driver’s and everyone’s ongoing safety. We keep a record of the run-time on all the components because there is not always an obvious answer as to when a component needs to be replaced before failure, the signs of impending failure are not always apparent. When a component has reached its usable life span, we call this “houred out” or “aged out” meaning the component has reached the limit of time that is allowed for it to be safely run. Sensitive data coming, here is the problem, the manufacturer does not always give you a real estimate of when a component should be replaced, meaning either because of the overall cost estimates of running the racecar, or because they might not even know. I have seen ridiculous estimates, like a recommended 5,000 mile eng ... read more

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 3

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 3

Prepping a brand-new racecar, where to start. So, we take our knowledge of the street cars and of the racecars and then combine everything we know, but as you might have assumed, a mistake can mean someone’s life, so everything relating to racing must be taken very seriously, never letting up, or you could easily get bitten. One team last year didn’t keep up with the TSB’s (Technical Service Bulletins) and by off clocking the rear brake caliper hoses just ever so slightly, created a fracture in one of the rear brake caliper hoses causing the car to lose its brakes, thank God nobody was hurt. These things can happen, but your team must stay ever so vigilant, never letting up. I live by the words of Mr. Harry Pellow, Murphy is my co-pilot. Note, Murphy’s law says “ if it can happen, it will”! Then Porsche holds your hand for the more complicated issues, such as dealing with the Cosworth ICD (Intelligent Colour Display) Instrument Cluster, bleeding th ... read more

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 2

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 2

Let’s get back to DE for a moment, he really didn’t have much race track experience, especially in a full-fledged race-car. He has ridden motorcycles quite a bit on the track but not automobiles, which I feel can give a driver somewhat a Superman like syndrome.  Once you get in a car, you’re all wrapped up in a cocoon of steel or Aluminum in the case of the modern Porsche, which can give you a false sense of security, maybe allowing you to push yourself farther than you actually should, who knows. DE had attended a couple of Callas Rennsport track days and even spent a full week at the Porsche advanced level driving school at the Barber Motorsports Park. So, needless to say, we had our work cut-out for us.  DE is a fearless street racer who likes to let it all hang out, but on the racetrack the loosie-goosey hang-it-all-out way is not the fastest and for sure not the safest way around a street course, not to mention it’s not so good on those big black ... read more

Building a Racecar Driver - Chapter 1

A number a years ago, Callas Rennsport gained a new client named Daniel Espinosa. He’s in his mid-50’s and absolutely loves everything mechanical, especially mechanical things that run on petrol. He had such a huge desire to go racing, and wanted to accomplish too much too quickly. I had to hold him back. It’s tough when a new blossoming driver can afford a much faster and higher horsepower car, which would impress everyone including themselves, but that isn’t the best thing to learn in. I tell every new driver, get yourself the slowest car your ego can handle. Knowing our substantial racing history, Daniel bothered me for a number of years to go racing. I told him that I had retired from racing and campaigning racecars, and that we were not in a position to support a full-fledged racing program. Racing is a sport that requires severe commitment and funding. While most people are not equipped, either due to health, family commitments or financial constraints ... read more

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