John Force Racing joins with GM. Announces crew chief line-up

By Martha Maglone, February 1, 2015 YORBA LINDA, CA – Top talent Mike Neff will continue as crew chief for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car, but John Force Racing (JFR) has announced promotions that will expand the youth and depth of its team positions.  Starting with the promotion of Jon Schaffer as crew chief of 16-time Funny Car champion John Force. Previously Schaffer worked with Mike Neff as his assistant crew chief, but the 27 year-old Californian will be making the calls on Force’s PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car beginning with testing in Phoenix. Long-time crewman Tim Fabrisi will be stepping up to assist Neff on the Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car. “We have developed the next generation of drivers,” said Force, “and now I want to do the same thing with our crew chiefs. We have so much young talent…I want to start giving these guys a chance to grow and develop their skills. Mike Neff, Ron Douglas, Dean Antonelli, Todd Smith and Dan Hood have a lot of experience and we want to continue to be competitive at a championship level. Guys like Jon Schaffer and Tim Fabrisi as well as new hires, Ronnie Thompson and Nick Casertano, will keep us young and on the cutting edge.” In addition to Schaffer’s promotion JFR has added car chief Nick Casertano to the PEAK Camaro SS Funny Car team. On the Top Fuel team led by Todd Smith, JFR has hired Ronnie Thompson to assist Smith with the Top Fuel dragster piloted by Brittany Force. Thompson was previously with Al-Anabi Racing working on Khalid AlBalooshi’s...

Kiwi magic: an infatuation with engine power

By Titus Bloom, February 4, 2015 In America we are continually impressed by the sheer numbers of racing enthusiasts in the little-populated large land of Australia. Dozens of Kaase Boss Nine hot rod engines have left our shores destined for the land Down-under. But have you ever contemplated the engineering accomplishments from the even smaller population of New Zealand? The World’s Fastest Indian Bert Munro was a phenomenon from Invercargill, located at the very tip of the South Island. He developed a 1920’s Indian motorcycle that became so successful on the Bonneville Salt Flats a movie was made to celebrate his achievements, many of which were financed in later life by his weekly pension. Munro’s Bonneville record of 1967 remains unbroken today. Then a generation later, John Britten emerged. Another Kiwi with a brilliant creative mind, Britten began his career as a sculptor and later as an outstanding architect. But in unaccountable contrast, for anyone who stood in the pits at Daytona in 1995 and witnessed his Britten 1000cc V-twin being started on the rollers, its irregular air-cracking staccato would remain indelibly in the memory. It competed against the best factory machines of the time and defeated them. Now, here’s Duke’s unique new concept:...

Autosport International Show: Radical RXC goes Spyder (open)

By Freddie Heaney, January 28, 2015 Birmingham, England: Fancy embarking on a great adventure? To occupy your mind in the grip of winter, you might consider the Autosport International show. It began in 1991 as the Racing Car show and has just celebrated its 25th anniversary this January. A pioneering concept originally, it revealed an era of optimism and energy, opening up an alluring world of racing cars old and new. It’s a venue where technology and industry and science and racing people flourish. Always based at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, the inaugural event attracted just 150 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. Last year, by comparison, the four-day show enticed 600 exhibitors and 82,000 visitors. Presenting an enchanting mix of modern and classic exhibits, it’s the nostalgia flavor, apparently, that’s often the main draw. Like our own PRI event held annually in Indianapolis, the UK exhibition serves as the traditional precursor to every race season. Company head Phil Abbott said, “The reaction to the Spyder quite surprised me—this was probably the best show we have ever attended in terms of sales. The SR3 is also selling well and the RXC, our gull-wing coupe, has just been homologated.” http://www.evo.co.uk/videos/14926/autosport-show-highlights-ariel-nomad-radical-rxc-spyder-renault-and-morE Radical race cars arrived in the US at the turn of the century. Always elegant and fast, they quickly established six lap records in the SCCA 1-liter D-Sport division between 2000 and 2002, won the prestigious June Sprints as well as two successive Southeastern National championships. Today, Radical North America thrives through a nationwide network of dealers. To find out more click on the link below it’s worth a look!...

Bright outlook for 2015 Engine Masters Challenge: Final rules revealed within 10 to 14 days

Sam Logan, February 3, 2015 Up to 40 of this country’s most gifted race engine builders will descend upon the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima to compete in the prestigious annual five-day contest known as the Engine Masters Challenge. Scheduled for October 5-9, crucial changes will affect this year’s format. The first change signals the end of Popular Hot Rodding magazine’s reign and the beginning of Hot Rod’s future. The largest auto performance magazine in the world, Hot Rod’s page circulation is estimated to be four times larger than that of the former PHR, and their website traffic approximately ten times greater. Even more interesting news is what Hot Rod plans to do with the contest. Significantly, they decided rather than settle for the traditional one or two elite classes they would expand the tournament to include five categories—crowning a winner at the end of each day. From the magazines’ perspective the new concept is brilliant. They set out to stimulate the imagination of the common enthusiast with a wider campaign. As a result, the new regulations allow them to exploit their editorial before a much greater audience during the course of the succeeding year—a concept not possible for Hot Rod hitherto. In addition, the rule makers are sympathetic to the idea that competing engines can be sold and put to productive use after the contest, unlike past dyno racing engines that were rarely useful to anyone without significant modification. At last year’s PRI exhibition, held on the second week of December in Indianapolis, Hot Rod, instead of conveying the rules, presented the engine builders with their new...

New alternator mounting brackets: SBC and BBC

By Ben Mozart, January 28, 2015 Two new alternator mounting brackets for Chevrolet small and big blocks KRC has released two new alternator mounting brackets: one places the alternator on the left side of the small-block Chevrolet, while the other is a reversible style that allows the alternator to be mounted either on the left or right hand side of the big-block Chevrolet. In both applications, the alternator is driven by the water pump and the brackets accommodate the small Powermaster 138mm Denso alternator. Much to the delight of the asphalt short-track racer the new small-block bracket moves 5lbs to 6lbs of alternator mass to the more favorable left side of the race car. KRC believes it to be the first of its kind. Supplied with bolts and spacers and assigned part number KRC40565000, this new bracket is perfect for pavement crate-engine race cars. It costs $113.26. The other bracket is a reversible style that positions the alternator on either the left or the right of the big-block Chevrolet engine. Instigated by requests from Northeast big-block racers, this bracket is also furnished with bolts and spacers, is assigned part number KRC40575000 and costs $93.08. Source: KRC Power Kennesaw, Georgia (800) 451-1074...
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