“All our friends are dead”: Weekend of a champion

“All our friends are dead”: Weekend of a champion

By Freddie Heaney, September 8, 2014 Set in May of 1971 in Monte Carlo, an area of the Mediterranean Principality of Monaco, Weekend of a Champion is a documentary that portrays how three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart applies himself to the task. Produced by Roman Polanski and directed by Frank Simon, the film premiered at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival and subsequently remained unscreened for 40 years. Now re-released and available on Netflix, it is the finest documentary on F1 for car racing enthusiasts of that period. Though it was a trendy time particularly for the racers—hair styles, side burns, beautiful cars and voluptuous girlfriends with Riviera suntans—F1 was a sport that inflicted profound loss and grief. In common with US sprint car racing of the last century, Formula One spawned an appalling death rate. When Stewart sat down with his wife, Helen, they calculated that 57 professional racing drivers had perished during his final five years of racing from 1968 to ’73. Marked by destruction, two of every three drivers were fated with violent death. They knew the slightest error would betray them—no wonder she had said: “all our close friends are dead.” After his retirement at the end of the 1973 season, Stewart, now 76, became an F1 champion of safety, implementing an often contentious campaign that rid F1 of deaths for 18 or 19 successive years. For enthusiasts, though, the essence of an enjoyable documentary is one that allows you to marvel at the details as they unfold. And on this particular weekend, Stewart was extremely fortunate in that the rain held off, for the team...
Remedy for sprint car driveline troubles

Remedy for sprint car driveline troubles

By Alfie Bilk, August 2, 2014 East Berlin, PA: There is a universal belief among the sprint car community that most driveline failures are the result of an inadequate universal joint. Nothing could be further from the truth according to Aaron Long of AL Drive Line. “The U-joints available today,” insists Long, “are undoubtedly strong enough for the demands of a WoO sprint car and we have failure-analysis data to prove so. The problem lies within the design of the traditional driveshaft, which whips and bends and ultimately causes the U-joint to fail from fatigue. ” The problem is fatigue; the remedy is a titanium design unlike any other. Nothing in the delivery of a sprint car’s power is diluted. Consider transmitting torque in excess of a 700ft-lbs with neither a clutch pack nor transmission to absorb the chaos between the crankshaft and the rear end. With a single U-joint attached to a conventional drive shaft, the whipping effect is so fatigue-inducing that a lightweight aluminum U-joint will be eventually flailed into submission if not replaced every 8 to 12 races. Heavier, more durable types are available but, still, the universal joint is widely regarded as the sprint car’s most vulnerable component.  But Aaron Long discovered by combining three certified titanium alloys in the driveshaft’s construction with larger diameter and precision-machining, the shaft could better absorb the adversities of harmonics, vibration frequencies and torque spikes. Moreover, the shafts could also be made lighter and by reducing binding in the drive-train, the rear suspension works better. Constructed entirely from titanium the billet splined ends and the seamless tubing are machined...
578hp and 620lb-ft: the efficiencies of a modern centrifugal supercharger

578hp and 620lb-ft: the efficiencies of a modern centrifugal supercharger

TorqStorm’s supercharger featured in Classic Truck’s story: Chevrolet Super Fire V-8, April issue. Here’s the valve-in-head V-8 as only the leader can build it and here are some wonderful things it brings you: 578 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque, made possible by the employment of an extremely efficient centrifugal supercharger. Exceptionally high horsepower in a brilliant package yields GM’s most potent pound-for-pound power producer to date! Chevrolet’s “Super-Fire V-8” delivers phenomenal performance, surprisingly high gas mileage, and extra-long life. See the video and read more.    ...
Weight Watching: Shedding 15lbs from your rotating assembly

Weight Watching: Shedding 15lbs from your rotating assembly

By Sam Logan, Images from Moore Good Ink: The chief advantage of an aluminum high-performance flywheel is saving weight. For weight savings, aluminum is the most potent medium we have available in flywheel manufacture. Take a tour of Ram Clutches’ facility to see how they manufacture aluminum flywheels and clutches for the performance-minded enthusiast. Read the full story...