Thursday, July 30, 2009

PRDA At The McLaren 40th Anniversary Party

[Livonia,MI] It was a toasty warm day in Michigan when two guys with a mission showed up at the 40th Anniversary Party for McLaren Performance.

The poor webmaster had a tough time keeping up with the energetic Oscar Koveleski as he darted from person to person, display to display, display to person to display, to... well, you get the picture. Oscar is a human dynamo.

The cars on display were exceptional. From McLaren Can Am cars right out of the late 1960's to the early 1970's, to Johnny Rutherford's 1974 Indy 500 winning car, to David Hobbs' BMW race cars, and all the other McLarenized wonders, this was among the best shows a motorsports enthusiast could hope to attend.

The people were top notch, and among the "royalty" were such names as Johnny Rutherford, David Hobbs, Bobby Rahal, Jack Deren, and some guy named Oscar Something...

Johnny, David and Bobby all became honorary members of the PRDA, and Bobby agreed to take David Letterman his honorary membership as well. In addition to the afore mentioned new members, there were a dozen other new members initiated into the elite ranks of the PRDA.

If McLaren ever has another 40th Anniversary party I HIGHLY recommend you make it a point to attend.

Many pictures to be posted in the coming days.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Fast And Furious College Kids

Reported July 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Students from all over the country compete in a racecar competition engineered to test what they've learned. One amateur racing team could give any professional racer a run for their money.Click to watch video!

They're fast and they're furious. Powerful miniature Indy-style racecars are entirely built, tested and driven by very proud students.

"It's a lot of sleepless nights," Michael Palaszynski, an engineering student at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Md., told Ivanhoe. "It's a lot of hard work, but we're a team."

"Being able to drive something that you helped build, and spent so much time and money on yourself -- it's a really great feeling," Scott Mingay, a mechanical engineering student at Rutgers University in Washington, D.C., said.

At the season opener for the Society of Automotive Engineer's formula car competition, cars are judged on design, acceleration, handling and endurance. , Mark Sproul, a computer engineer and advisor at Rutgers University, put his students to the test.

"The competition is an engineering competition," Sproul explained. "It's not about who can build the fastest car. It's about how well do you know what you built."

Acceleration tests resemble drag races. Endurance tests require cars race for long distances, and a popular event called skid pad measures a car's cornering ability -- a hard test for drivers.
"You sit in the car, wear a hot suit on a hundred degree day, it's still fun," Palaszynksy said.
For some students, their racing efforts translate into jobs with recruiters from Honda and Toyota.

"What's unique about this car is that we have a complete wireless stat acquisition system," Mingay explained. "It sends all of our data wirelessly back to the pits to our computers."
This year, top teams were from Missouri, Oklahoma and Illinois.

"I get to get off of school to go racing and I get school credit for it," Palaszynksy said.
He got extra credit for living life in the fast lane! Teams spend up to a year designing and building cars to conform to a set of rules. Although, there's room for a few added features of their own.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.-USA, and the American Association of Physics Teachers contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.
Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Nancy Lewis
Corporate Communications Manager
SAE International World Headquarters
Warrendale, PA 15096-0001
(412) 977-2894

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
Pender McCarter IEEE

American Association of Physics TeachersCollege Park, MD
(301) 209-3311


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gas-2-3 Clutch-2-3 Brake-2-3

When was the last time you worried about the size of a "foot box?"

If it wasn't recently, then you probably aren't concerned about going fast in a 40-year-old race car. Especially one like the RIAM Eagle Mk5 that Tony Adamowicz is reaquainting himself with in the 2009 Historic Formula 5000 racing series.

That Eagle, typical of the designs of the day, has a narrow profile from front to back, much narrower than more modern race cars. And it is especially narrow in that critical portion near the front where the clutch, brake and throttle pedals are mounted.

Somehow, Adamowicz dealt with that problem 40 years ago when he drove the Eagle to the 1969 Continental Formula A championship. Cars don't shrink, drivers grow larger. Even their feet, apparently.

A small foot box means that the pedals are very close together and that means it's easy for a "big footed" race driver to accidentally push two pedals at once, especially under severe braking/downshifting maneurvers. The problem grows even more serious as the brake pedal "softens" as a race goes on.

It's a problem Adamowicz had to contend with at Road America. The team hopes to deal with it before the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix weekend, September 11-13, at Watkins Glen.

Making the foot box larger is not an option, of course. So the team will concentrate on making the pedal surfaces smaller to produce more space between them.

No consideration has been given to making the driver's feet smaller. Tony is already doing his best: At Road America, he stuffed his size 11 1/2 feet into size 10 driving shoes. And "danced" carefully.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Another spin around the track

Eagle's still got it, decades after win
By Dave Kallmann of the Journal Sentinel

Elkhart Lake — It might seem strange for a grown man to feel sentimental about aluminum and steel and rubber and gasoline, but that's what car guys do.

So forgive Tony Adamowicz.

He has always been a car guy. And he'll always have a special place in his heart for a slick, white No. 7 Eagle sculpted more than four decades ago in Dan Gurney's All-American Racers shop.

Adamowicz raced it to the 1969 Formula 5000 championship, he won with it that July at Road America and he drove it again Sunday in the Kohler International Challenge vintage races on a circuit that has changed little in the 40 years since.

"Back in the day we probably were a little bit closer racing and took a lot more chances . . . and we were a lot younger," the 68-year-old Californian said after finishing second in his class.

"There's a . . . value in what we do today, to be able to bring these cars out of yesteryear . . . and showcase them at a beautiful track like Road America.

"We try to do some racing within the safety confines of the car. We know that they're all historic, and we really don't want to bring them back rumpled up. We want to bring them back in a whole piece and continue on showing these cars."

Nearly 400 high-priced, high-powered toys went on high-speed display during the International Challenge. Only a handful will need another round of restoration before being seen again.

Adamowicz's particular piece of history spent more than 35 years tucked away in storage, unused, unshown and all but forgotten by nearly everyone but its driver.

Finally, as preparations were being made for a 40th anniversary of the Formula 5000 class, Adamowicz worked a deal for its purchase by Doug Magnon, president of the Riverside International Automotive Museum in California. They went together to pick it up.

"I hadn't seen it since December of 1969, the last race at Sebring," said Adamowicz, who remains the only person to have raced the car.

"It was a time warp, going back to see that and to see all the patina that had built up from that race was still there. It was just an amazing time."
Although the car was in great shape, overall, time did take a toll. Adamowicz, Magnon and others spent about a year getting it ready to run again last summer.

Suspension components were rebuilt with stronger steel. The wings and engine are new. Sagging springs were replaced, along with a tachometer that no longer worked and the windscreen, which was pitted from a 13-race season.

"All these pieces were made in the spirit of the way the car was originally, but they're new, fresh pieces to go racing," said Adamowicz, who oversaw the restoration. "We're actually geared for about 190 mph here, so it's a significant speed for a 40-year-old car, let alone a 40-year-older driver."

Through the years, some of the details of Adamowicz's Road America triumph also have faded, and others have been lost in the jumble of hundreds of races in series at tracks all over the world.

He remembers the event involved three 100-mile heats. He remembers seeing Jerry Hansen's car, upside down and dripping gasoline, after a first-lap accident. And he remembers the more significant accomplishment of that day, the first lunar landing.

"It certainly overshadows my win at Road America," Adamowicz said, "but we like to say we're partners in honoring them, Buzz Aldrin and the NASA guys, with their Eagle win on the moon."

It's an interesting tidbit. So was the notion that 40 years later, Adamowicz would return to the site of an important victory and race in the very same car.

"I'm just honored to be here to show it to people," Adamowicz said. "Some of them even remember the car from '69, so that's even more special for them."

And for him.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Oscar Driving? Polish Sausage?

MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. – One southern Wisconsin homeowner is probably not in love with the Oscar Mayer wiener. The famed hot dog's Wienermobile crashed Friday into the deck and garage of a home in Mount Pleasant, about 35 miles south of Milwaukee.

Police said the driver was trying to turn the Wienermobile around in the driveway and thought she was moving in reverse. But she instead went forward and hit the home. It sat in the driveway as if it were stuck in the garage Friday afternoon.

No one was home and no one was injured. No citations were immediately issued.

Both the home and vehicle suffered moderate damage, which Oscar Mayer spokeswoman Sydney Lindner says insurance will cover.

Police hadn't been able to speak to the homeowner as of early Friday evening.

From Yahoo News.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 400 Bad Lock For Keselowski

IN THE #25 AT CHICAGO: Driving the No. 25 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, Brad Keselowski was running in 10th with just 14 to go when a re-start got out of shape. Brad Keselowski got the worst of it and got a massive tire rub sending him off the lead lap and two laps down. He crossed the line P32. The 25-year-old Michigan native had made two previous NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at the 1.5-mile racetrack, where he most recently scored a third-place finish last July after starting 13th.

From the Official Brad Keselowski Website.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New PRDA Products

I know what your thinking. You're thinking "Whoa, I knew they were going to try to shove products down our throats, them marketing guys, trying to make a buck, only thinking about money. This isn't the PRDA I remember...". But as the old saying goes, if you can remember it, you did it wrong.

These are all new products so that you can proudly display your loyalty to the PRDA and all it stands for. When we know what we stand for, we'll let you know, but in the mean-time, check out these products, buy lots, and get your friends to buy too. Sell them the plan... wait, that's another company.

You can check out the new PRDA products HERE.