Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rise up

Did you know that in 2005 the team actually did a little development, intended for official cars only.  Apart from the new bumpers that I already mentionned there was also a suspension ride height control system.  By pushing a button, on his steering wheel, the driver could lift or lower the car instantly thanks to a hydraulic system installed on the shocks.  In our 2005 deal it was mentionned that we would "possibly" have it on our car but unfortunately it turned out we did not. 

The system was quite useful.  Example:

Everybody knows that Neste Rally Finland is like "racing on gravel", right?  But many can't believe that parts of the Finnish stages can get very, very rough. 

Which parts?

Simple, the Finnish stages have two types of roads: fast gravel main roads, rather wide and with very hard surface because there is traffic on them all year round.  Then, there are narrower, more sandy surfaced roads, which don't have much traffic on them at all.  On the second pass through the stages, these sections can get deeply rutted, all the way to the bedrock that was used to lay the road during construction...  So, since rally cars are set up with very low ride heights for precision driving at high speeds, once you turn off the nice road onto that rough one, you will be hitting the sump guard, bumping through the shocks...all that, at very high speeds.  This makes it sometimes very difficult to handle the car.  In these situations, being able to instantly lift your car 2 or 3 cm can help. 

For us, the idea was to run low on the first pass, 160mm on front, then raise the car a couple cm's for the second pass...


  1. Kristian Svendsen15 April, 2011 21:00


    Do you believe the story is repeating itself with the new WRC aswell? That for example the Stobart cars gets second hand, or poorer quality parts on their cars still? You see they get some odd failures that the works cars doesn't get. For example; Ostberg in the Fiesta have got two gearbox failures in the two last rallies, as far as I know, none of the factory cars have got the same problem?

    Love your blog, and your stories from the field. Nice to see someone have the courage to tell the truth about this buisness! :)

  2. Also, in the last sector of the Jordan power stage the works cars gained around 12 seconds on the customer cars in the last sector, which was a minute or so long, BUT it was compiled of a bunch of full throttle sections. Add a new engine formula for this year. Hening Solberg did not seem at all surprised. Coincidence?

  3. What happened and you stopped feeding us with so nice informations and experiences ????

  4. There is more to come. Everybody needs a break sometime. Enjoyed the week end a bit too much I think...