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uploaded 2/27/99

Behind the Scenes at Long Beach

Back toLong Beach start page

OK, so I get media credentials which gets me in free, and I can walk around in the paddock and on pit lane unless the track is hot. But it's difficult to find a place to hang out, a place where you can sit down or store your jacket or shoulder bag. I'm lucky because I know a lot of the technical guys, the people who sell and/or service components the teams need. This season I've been hanging out at the Motorsports Spares truck at both Phoenix (IRL) and Long Beach (CART).

At Long Beach the support trucks were in an underground parking lot just west of the back straight. Each engine manufacturer: Ilmor/Mercedes-Benz, Cosworth/Ford, Toyota, and Honda have big semi-trailers with conference rooms, kitchens, and workstations for their managers and engineers. Firestone and Goodyear have similar trucks. Lola and Reynard have fancy haulers that stock spare parts as well as providing a conference room. Swift bought a smaller fifth-wheel trailer that used to belong to Lola. Other support vendors like Earl's and Emco Gears also have trailers.

Jeff Reid rebuilding an Ohlins shock

The inside of the Motorsports Spares CART support truck has a full shock-rebuild bench. This is Jeff Reid at work. The reservoir is in the near vise and the main shaft with piston in the other vise. Jeff is measuring the thickness and diameter of each shim as he installs them on the piston.

Marelli steering wheel

This is the Magnetti-Marelli steering wheel as used by the Ilmor/Mercedes-Benz teams. I'll try to add some info about all the functions later.

Pi steering wheel

Pi Research also has a steering wheel to mate with their new on-board computer system called Sigma. The system will have variants for the major race series. You can see "Laguna" on the bigger red box and that's what they're calling the CART system. There will also be a "Daytona" system for NASCAR and a "Le Mans" system for Sports Cars. There are two processors running two separate networks, one backing up the other. Each sensor on the car is a network node with an address.

Pi support guys

Inside the Pi Research support trailer. These guys worked with teams in CART, Indy Lights, and Formula Atlantic at this event to help them get the most out of their equipment. You see the Pi guys everywhere on a race weekend.

Jim Arentz at the damper dyno

Penske Racing Shocks is sharing a trailer with Earl's. Here is Jim Arentz. working with a shock in a portable SPA damper dyno.

Glen Knabenshue

Glen Knabenshue was also at Long Beach in support of Penske shocks. Since Team Penske is no longer using Penske shocks on their Champ car Penske Racing Shocks is once more free to sell to CART and IRL teams. Many Indy Lights and Formula Atlantic teams mount Penske shocks.


 The contents of this web site are copyrighted by Paul Haney. No reproduction other than for your own personal use unless full source attribution is quoted. All Rights reserved by Paul Haney, 1999.