Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Boy Scouts are always prepared

Like many other seasoned race car builders a after having raced for many years one of the lessons I have learned is that building a car for "best case scenarios" is for dreamers. If it were possible that a car would never have reason to leave the comfort of the tracks smooth surface then that type of thinking would be possible. On the other hand when a driver feels the need to push the edge of the envelope it sometimes happens that edge may be in the weeds.

Personally I don't any (good) driver that hasn't down some "agricultural" driving. For that reason it's wise to prepare the car for the inevitable. In Australia many of the rally cars utilize what has been nicknamed "Roo Bars" which are simply SUV style bumper guards intended to help in the event a Kangaroo should decide to share the roadway with a high speed rally car. While I have no intention of being the first to build a "Burro Bar" for the La Carrera Panamericana I do plan on adding a few additions to Lucky to help in the event we find some loose gravel on a sharp turn, some missing highway, an oil slick or even some other competitor's car that may be unwilling to get out of the road. As a matter of fact when one considers the roads we will be racing over and how many miles it takes place on, any one of those possibilities seems more like a reality than a "what if".

The above photo was taken during a rally in Africa. Husband and wife team, Paul and Mary-Ellen Kane co-drive the GT350 and have run the La Carrera Panamericana for 6 years before moving to England and have since raced the Inca Trail, The Shield of Africa, The World Cup Rally London to Dakar and the Kenya Airways Safari Classic. From the looks of the photo they too have apparently understand the need to come to the track prepared.


George Sullivan said...

Roo-bars might be a good choice we had 2 burrios in the middle of the road and it was quite exciting to say the least. I looked up and said "Holy #$@! Tom there are 2
&%$#@!& donkeys in front of us needless to say we ran off the road for a second and lost a tire.
We hit an oil slick on La Bufa a Volvo P1800 lost an oil line worse than ice. So far it looks like we have the head problem solved the engine temp is now stable I might have broken a few speed laws this week with the car but what the heck track time is expensive and the expressway was not busy.

Gary Faules said...

Thank God for expressways! LOL. Glad to hear the head gasket isues are sloved. Now all you guys have to do is meet us in Mexico.