Goodwood victory: exploiting the potential of a V-12

Goodwood victory: exploiting the potential of a V-12

By Freddie Heaney:   On September 12, on his 67th birthday, race engine builder Bob Bartlett of V&B Engines of Chatham, Virginia, provided sufficient motive power for Joe Colasacco to win the Glover Trophy at the 2018 Goodwood Revival. Driving John Surtees’ 1964 F1 championship-winning Ferrari 1512, Colasacco drove the race of his life, defeating former Nissan works Touring Car driver Andy Middlehurst in Jim Clark’s 1963 F1 championship-winning Lotus 25. ‘We are proud to have contributed to this effort,’ wrote Bartlett, who not only built Joe’s winning engine but also supplied his cast magnesium wheels and other drivetrain parts. ‘Obviously, we were pleased to hear Middlehurst complain about his 20 HP deficit to our engine (although we don’t think it’s actually that much).’ Nonetheless, it was a crowning achievement. You can also take delight in the unique high-pitched howl of the Ferrari heard at times during race coverage. Watch the race at https://www.motorsport.com/ca/vintage/video/goodwood-revival-sunday/373338/ and fast-forward the video to 6:25:05 to see the prelude, or move along a further 12mins to enjoy the race. Two further points, first, pay attention to Belleville, Illinois racer James King driving the no. 22 Brabham BT7, the ex Dan Gurney car that won the French GP. Second, for those unfamiliar with the incomparable Goodwood Revival and its protocol, all participants and spectators are encouraged to dress in period; that is, Goodwood’s heyday from 1948 to the...
Kaase launches new SR-71 cylinder heads for big-block Fords

Kaase launches new SR-71 cylinder heads for big-block Fords

Jon Kaase’s career as an engineer and engine tuner has a depth few contemporaries have achieved. On Monday, October 15, he celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday, and a few days earlier, he won his ninth award at the Engine Masters Challenge in Cleveland, Ohio. He felt privileged to have a chance to compete again and grateful for the new-found enthusiasm for the contest. More recently, he introduced a new big-block Ford cylinder head, the SR-71, his first in 10 years.   • Raised intake entry ports • 100% CNC-machined in-house on 5-axis Hurco • Compatible with Super Cobra Jet intake manifolds • Fits all conventional engine bays   According to engine builder Jon Kaase, his company’s new SR-71 cylinder head will out-power any conventional big-block Ford head. Extensive dynamometer tests have demonstrated average gains of 50hp and similar peak gains over best existing cylinder heads. In addition, the usable engine speed range is increased by a minimum of 500rpm. Kaase assures that the SR-71 heads will fit the conventional engine bay, and when installed on a maximum-effort 598cid engine, will produce over 1100hp and rev to 8,000rpm.   Despite placing the intake port entries half-inch higher than customary, all Super Cobra Jet intake manifolds fit the new heads. Clearly, higher intake ports are desirable, providing straighter, faster paths for the air-fuel mixture to reach the valves. Raising them while preserving compatibility with conventional intake manifolds is achieved by extending the port entry face toward the valley area—the head is wider. On the exhaust side, dimensions are stock Super Cobra Jet / Kaase P-51. The entire CNC-machining process is performed in-house on...
Petit Le Mans: C7 crashes pit exit, finishes 8th, claims 2nd consecutive GT title, throws party

Petit Le Mans: C7 crashes pit exit, finishes 8th, claims 2nd consecutive GT title, throws party

By Freddie Heaney: Click here to view images of the 2018 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.   Road Atlanta, Saturday 13 October 2018: In a hardly credible ten-hour endurance race, the  no. 3 Corvette C7 co-driven by Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia and Marcel Fassler became the 2018 GT Le Mans championship winner, despite finishing two laps behind the second-place no. 4 Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner, despite having not won a race this season, and despite almost succumbing to a crash while exiting the pits. Earlier, the car had been in contention for class victory, but with around two-and-a-half hours remaining, Garcia spun exiting pit road and struck the wall. For a moment it appeared their race was over. But implausibly the damage was repaired and the car returned to the track in ninth, three laps down, awakening a scenario where Ryan Briscoe’s no. 67 Ford GT could win the championship by finishing second or better. Brisco’s Ganassi Ford had been trailing the winning Porsche 911 RSR, co-driven by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Fred Makowiecki, but then Briscoe, who had pitted with 48 minutes remaining, was overtaken by the no. 4 Corvette while leaving the pits. His Ford, for reasons unknown, was unable to match the Corvette’s pace and later fell behind the two BMW M8s, eventually finishing fifth. Such was the sequence of events that secured the championship for the no. 3 Corvette. Its impressive consistency throughout the 2018 season brought eight podium finishes from eleven starts. Finishing third acquired further distinction for pole sitter no. 24 BMW M8 GTE of Jesse Krohn, John...
TorqStorm Updates:  Sales, Relocation, and what we can learn from Tuner Kits

TorqStorm Updates: Sales, Relocation, and what we can learn from Tuner Kits

By Martha Maglone:   According to Chris Beardsley of TorqStorm, the Michigan supercharger firm produced and supplied more kits by July 2018 than it accomplished during the entire year of 2017.   Formed in 2009, TorqStorm is a subsidiary of Accelerated Tooling founded by Chris Brooker and Scott Oshinski, both of whom served their apprenticeships in the tool and die profession. Now both companies have outgrown their current 10,000sq ft premises in the Grand Rapids area and on 17 September are moving to a larger 25,000sq ft building, about two miles from their current location.  Plans for the new building will include the addition of 8 to 12 new machining centers and a dynamometer facility in due course.   Tuner kits Access to young dynamic companies is an interesting place to be. Perpetually in flux, they are like living streams, shifting and changing with new ideas. In the interests of better outcomes, each decision at TorqStorm involves the collaboration of five individuals—each consideration receiving full measure of devotion.   Given their latest focus on Tuner kits, Chris Beardsley reports they are designed for the Hemi (2003 to 2018), Camaro (2010 to ’15), GTO (2004 to ’06) and Silverado (1999 to 2013 and 2014 and later). They each sell for between $2,800 and $3,500. “Compared to the complete kits available for around $6,500 from rival manufacturers, our Tuner kits”, explains Beardsley, “allows the customer or installing dealer to select the remaining key components that best suit the project and goals and budget. Even if you purchase the highest quality parts, say, an intercooler ($800), fuel pump ($500), and injectors ($350),...
Yoder on the foolish selection of aggressive camshafts, roller lifter failures, and valve springs

Yoder on the foolish selection of aggressive camshafts, roller lifter failures, and valve springs

The primary reason for selecting an aggressive camshaft profile is to bolster the inefficiencies of a cylinder head. The more aggressive the cam profile, the more spring loading is required to keep the lifter in contact with the lobe. Aggressive cam profiles are generally judged unnecessary for use with efficient cylinder heads.   For this reason, we favor returning to established profiles because they are less abusive on valve springs. Given an efficient cylinder head, a milder profile camshaft will make just as much horsepower. The proof of this is easily demonstrated by back-to-back dyno testing.   Roller lifter failures: Inadequate valve springs are the major cause of roller lifter failures. They enfeeble the valve train, allowing the lifters to be thrown over the nose of the cam lobes, damaging or crushing their needle roller bearings on the impact of landing. If stronger spring loadings are necessary and the durability of the needle rollers is in doubt, use roller lifters with bushings instead of needle bearings. Beehive valve springs: A Beehive valve spring resembles the shape of a whiskey barrel. These springs are frequently used in applications where clearance is at a premium, usually between the underside of the rocker arm and the outer edge of the spring retainer. They are also desirable in the quest for lighter moving parts. The Beehive’s narrow top end adopts a smaller retainer, thus achieves a lighter spring assembly.   Beehive springs are commonly used on late-model Ford and LS road-going engines. The LS factory-spec camshaft opens the valves to around 0.530in. Given its stock 1.7:1 rocker ratio, Erson’s aftermarket camshafts with 0.340in...
Valve springs, valve clearance, bounce, float, and surge: A few helpful details

Valve springs, valve clearance, bounce, float, and surge: A few helpful details

By Archie Bosman: Valve springs have two primary tasks: first, to close the valve after the camshaft opens it and, second, to maintain proper valve clearance, also known as valve lash. Why valve clearance is required for solid tappets (lifters) Valve clearance, or tappet clearance, is the gap between the tip of the valve and the rocker arm when a solid lifter is positioned on the base circle of the camshaft. This clearance accommodates thermal expansion created by engine heat. Metal expansion rates differ between the block, heads, pushrods, valves, etc., and a gap commensurate with the collective expansion is set accordingly. Exhaust valve clearance is often greater than that of the intake valve as it runs hotter and, therefore, grows in length, reducing valve clearance. Unlike solid tappets, hydraulic systems operate with zero clearance. Inadequate clearance As the valve seat wears, the valve moves slightly upward in the cylinder head, reducing valve clearance. If clearance vanishes and the valve does not close fully, compression is lost. Furthermore, escaping hot combustion gasses burn the valve head. Similarly, when combustion occurs on race engines, heat and pressure can distort the valve head, cupping it and pushing the valve upwards through its seat, thus consuming some of its clearance. On overhead cam engines, which have fewer valve train components to absorb deflection during combustion, the effect of lost clearance can be evidenced by a little shock imprint on the camshaft’s base circle caused by the lifter. Excessive clearance In contrast, excessive clearance is detrimental to the entire valve train. As the bigger gap builds momentum, the rocker pounds the valve tip....