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1994 Penske PC23 Indy Car


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#451 JadeGurss

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 19:51

What Patrick didn't say is that he had a huge role in making the book the absolute best we could make it... It was a team effort. 

 

 

I should add to the last comment by saying that Jade was very committed to making the book 100% accurate which is an extremely commendable attitude to take and quite a commitment. How he didn't strangle me though the process I'm not sure as I'm a real stickler for getting this stuff right. He worked incredibly hard at it and it wasn't uncommon for him to send re-writes at all sorts of hours. I think we were at it to about 4am on new years eave or there abouts to get one set of paragraphs right. If there are any errors it will not be for lack of effort on Jade's part. We went to great lengths including measuring the actual C of G of both the 265D and 265E to finally lay the argument about the engines affect on the car to rest, taking apart gearboxes, a 265D and all sorts. Throughout the whole thing Jade didn't once express any sort of exasperation, frustration or just dismiss any detail as unimportant which in my limited experience is rare. 



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#452 Victor_RO

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 13:00

Order has gone through on Amazon on my copy of the book, sadly the current delivery estimate is after the 500. :(



#453 Freebird

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 14:09

Two words:  “Jesus Flame”    : )

 

The book does a great job telling the technical and human side of the story of the “E”.   Key subjects covered from multiple perspectives.  It also also does a good job of explaining the development of the “E” against the backdrop of Indy racing history and the politics that proceeded it. 

 

I spent 2 days at the speedway that year (1994).  Final practice Friday and pole day Saturday.  I spent most of it inside the entry to turn 3.  I wanted to get the best prospective of the speed of the PC 23’s down the strait and how they carried the speed thru the turns. 

 

What I remember.  The cars were very quiet coming down the strait when viewed from the front compared to the other cars there.  You only really heard two things, a whistling aero sound and the heavy sound of the tires on the pavement.  No real engine note.  When the cars entered 3 all the PC 23’s were rolled off throttle, with the engine sounding slightly ruff.   Generally, EF, and PT were later off the throttle on entry and earlier on throttle relative to Jr.  They weren’t rolling back on the throttle till the car was nearly strait on the short strait between 3 and 4. 

 

On the section in the book covering PT’s spin late in Friday afternoon practice, his trip thru turn 3 was similar to all the other Penske PC23’s thru there that day.  The only difference was that he was carrying more mid corner speed thru the turn than seen earlier.  That seemed pretty clear.  He rolled the throttle on a little earlier than he had on earlier laps.   I remember being amazed a car going that fast could still apparently have that much reserve power to spin that late in the turn.   Jade,  PT is quoted in the book as saying he was flat thru turns 1, 2, and 3 on the lap he crashed.  Not from what I saw and heard that day in turn 3.

 

FB



#454 JadeGurss

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 18:52

I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book, and the Jesus Flame is one of my favorite anecdotes in the entire project!

 

RE: Tracy's crash: I didn't have any evidence to counter Tracy's account of the Turn 3 incident, so I stayed with his description, but you may very well have heard a lift... 

 

Thanks for the review!

 

jade.

 

Two words:  “Jesus Flame”    : )

 

The book does a great job telling the technical and human side of the story of the “E”.   Key subjects covered from multiple perspectives.  It also also does a good job of explaining the development of the “E” against the backdrop of Indy racing history and the politics that proceeded it. 

 

I spent 2 days at the speedway that year (1994).  Final practice Friday and pole day Saturday.  I spent most of it inside the entry to turn 3.  I wanted to get the best prospective of the speed of the PC 23’s down the strait and how they carried the speed thru the turns. 

 

What I remember.  The cars were very quiet coming down the strait when viewed from the front compared to the other cars there.  You only really heard two things, a whistling aero sound and the heavy sound of the tires on the pavement.  No real engine note.  When the cars entered 3 all the PC 23’s were rolled off throttle, with the engine sounding slightly ruff.   Generally, EF, and PT were later off the throttle on entry and earlier on throttle relative to Jr.  They weren’t rolling back on the throttle till the car was nearly strait on the short strait between 3 and 4. 

 

On the section in the book covering PT’s spin late in Friday afternoon practice, his trip thru turn 3 was similar to all the other Penske PC23’s thru there that day.  The only difference was that he was carrying more mid corner speed thru the turn than seen earlier.  That seemed pretty clear.  He rolled the throttle on a little earlier than he had on earlier laps.   I remember being amazed a car going that fast could still apparently have that much reserve power to spin that late in the turn.   Jade,  PT is quoted in the book as saying he was flat thru turns 1, 2, and 3 on the lap he crashed.  Not from what I saw and heard that day in turn 3.

 

FB



#455 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 21:39

Flat or not, I don't remember, but I do know the data showed he wheeled it in there about 15 mph faster than ever before.

 

Typical PT, never one for half measures.



#456 JadeGurss

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 15:49

I had a request from someone awaiting the arrival of their copy of the book to post links to all of the online excerpts from BEAST. If you're on the fence about buying a copy, perhaps these will whet your appetite. 

Buy now at OctanePress.com (the quickest option) or wherever books are sold. It will also soon be available in all eBook formats. NOW available for Kindle at Amazon.com!

Excerpts, in the order in which they appear in the book: 

1.) Serious Brainpower (Chapter Seven) - available here at the Autosport Forum. Features details about the difficult design decisions behind the engine. 

2.) Directing a Symphony (Chapter 17) - available here via the Trackside Forum. Some "supernatural" happenings while dyno testing the engine.

3.) The First Test (Chapter 18) - available here from RACER.com. The first track test of the engine takes place in a snowy winter wonderland. (RACER.com is upgrading their site today - May 14 - so it seems a little sluggish right now.)

4.) Test. Then Test Again (Chapter 20) - available here from the Autosport Forum. Testing continues with a new driver. 

5.) Heeee's On It (Chapter 33) - available here on the author's blog. It's the dramatic (and rainy) opening day of qualifying for the 1994 Indy 500. 

NOTE: Many of the excerpts have been edited for brevity - and to remove a number of spoilers. You'll have to read the book for the really good, juicy details. 

Thanks!

Jade.


Edited by JadeGurss, 14 May 2014 - 18:47.


#457 JadeGurss

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 18:46

Another book update: 

 

BEAST is now available for Kindle users via Amazon! Get the book delivered instantly - and at a good price.

 

Also, follow Octane Press on Facebook. They will be giving away copies to those who can answer BEAST/Indy 500 trivia quickly. 

 

Thanks, 

 

Jade.



#458 Victor_RO

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:46

Another book update: 

 

BEAST is now available for Kindle users via Amazon! Get the book delivered instantly - and at a good price.

 

 

Looks like it's also available through Matchbook if, like me, you've ordered it as a physical copy but can't wait to get it.  :clap:  Got it for Kindle, will start reading tonight.



#459 RogerGraham

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:10

Looks like it's also available through Matchbook if, like me, you've ordered it as a physical copy but can't wait to get it.  :clap:  Got it for Kindle, will start reading tonight.

 

Thanks for that, I had no idea there was such a thing!



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#460 Victor_RO

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 07:09

Dropped a 5-star on Amazon as soon as I was done with the book.  :up: Big thank you to Jade and to everyone involved with the whole thing, I enjoyed it very much and the subject is still as fascinating to me as ever.



#461 JadeGurss

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 14:26

Dropped a 5-star on Amazon as soon as I was done with the book.  :up: Big thank you to Jade and to everyone involved with the whole thing, I enjoyed it very much and the subject is still as fascinating to me as ever.

Thanks Victor - I'm thrilled you liked the book - and every 5-star mouse click helps the book's visibility... 



#462 Fondles

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 21:30

Just ordered my copy from AbeBooks. 
I prefer a hard copy.



#463 kikiturbo2

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 21:28

I just finished reading the book... (Kindle edition)... gave it 5 stars as I found it a great read. I loved the fact how each of the engineers was given enough space and weren't overshadowed by the "big stars"..



#464 JadeGurss

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 21:46

Thanks for the 5 stars - I appreciate it! Glad you enjoyed the book.

#465 saudoso

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 21:10

Just finished it, great read!



#466 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 13:13

It's been rather a long time coming but the tub is finally painted and back in the workshop. Getting the red the correct shade was a bit of a game for the painters but they've managed it. 

 

 

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Now we can start the fun bit - building it up. 


#467 JacnGille

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 00:43

:up:



#468 gruntguru

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 08:15

Patrick, would it be correct to say your restored car will be finished to a higher standard than the original? Everything you have posted looks absolutely beautiful.


Edited by gruntguru, 10 June 2014 - 08:16.


#469 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 13:44

Patrick, would it be correct to say your restored car will be finished to a higher standard than the original? Everything you have posted looks absolutely beautiful.

That's and interesting question. The answer is no - it will be the same. Penske's are very easy to get looking right as they were always immaculate. It's a rather more difficult balance to strike with some other race car manufacturers. While I really like things looking clean and tidy you can over-do it such that it looks too good. 

 

The people that worked at Penske strived to do the best job in every respect. If you read Jade's book you'll get to the bit where the test team have 24 hours to turn the test car around and over to Indy for the unveiling. In that time they actually re-painted the car!! When the Mercedes executives turned up they were very cross and said they didn't want a show car, they wanted the actual test car. When they were told "this is the actual car" they were very taken aback. That's the sort of detail Penske Racing was SO good at. And clean cars are easier and more fun to work on. You spot problems faster. 



#470 JacnGille

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 14:19

... And clean cars are easier and more fun to work on. You spot problems faster. 

:up:



#471 JadeGurss

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 18:56

While Patrick continues his PC23 restoration, I've posted some great stories about his father, Paul Morgan. While researching and conducting interviews for the BEAST book, I had a huge amount of material that just didn't fit the final narrative. Some of those stories and details were too good not to share them in some form. 

 

Here are some hilarious anecdotes and stories about Paul Morgan and his love of flying:  fingerprint.typepad.com. Consider it a "bonus" chapter of BEAST.



#472 JacnGille

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 00:40

Here are some hilarious anecdotes and stories about Paul Morgan and his love of flying:  fingerprint.typepad.com. Consider it a "bonus" chapter of BEAST.

:up:



#473 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:43

The chassis is now coming together....

 

 

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#474 desmo

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 14:19

Must be nice to assemble a beautiful race car like that without the insane pressure of an upcoming race breathing down one's neck.



#475 427MkIV

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 13:18

Very impressive work, Patrick.



#476 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 14:49

Very impressive work, Patrick.

 

I'm fortunate to have a good team. 



#477 AndyM

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 20:35

Patrick - I meant to say hello when I recognised you at CPOP on the Friday morning but I was too busy driving a rather pink Bentley, and then I missed you for the rest of the day. I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to post the pictures of the PC23 restoration on here and your first hand experiences of such an amazing machine - please keep passing on your insights. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Penske and all your other recent projects at DTP - what amazing cars.Thanks to this thread I've also bought and finished 'The Beast' which was great - so thanks to Jade too - what a great story. :up:

 

Brown-nosing mode off! 



#478 Marc Sproule

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:06

july/aug issue of vintage motorsport magazine has good sized story about indy '94 titled "pushrod!".  complete with cutaway by tony m.

 

written by Jim McCraw.



#479 stiffy

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:05

Wonderful,have just ordered "Beast" and have just read" Black Noon",its a good informative read,but leaves you feeling a little uncomfortable,voyeuristic like the people who go to races for the accidents.



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#480 Magoo

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:30

Not to be That Guy, but the quotation 

 

"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games." 

 

was never written or uttered by Ernest Hemingway.

 

The line was spoken by one Helmut Ovden, a fictional character in a short story, "Blood Sport," by Ken Purdy, which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post on July 27, 1957. 



#481 MatsNorway

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 20:56

Car looks outstanding. Is there a chance we get to see other similar projects?



#482 Greg Locock

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 22:41

Magoo- Yeah but Hemingway should have said it.



#483 Pat Clarke

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 05:36

He would have, Greg, had he thought of it ;-)

 

Pat



#484 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 16:09

I've not posted much recently as I've been full time on another project but in the mean time things have moved forward. I promised ages ago to post some photos of the front mono-bump instalation. Here it is - 

 

 

14714876551_128bc1e09d_b.jpg
 
It lived under this cover to keep prying eyes away. 
 


#485 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 16:21

Not to be That Guy, but the quotation 

 

"There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games." 

 

was never written or uttered by Ernest Hemingway.

 

The line was spoken by one Helmut Ovden, a fictional character in a short story, "Blood Sport," by Ken Purdy, which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post on July 27, 1957. 

 

No, totally be that guy. I'm always amused when it turns out a famous quote is not at all what we think(and it seems to be often). I'm curious why it ever became Hemingway's. Accident and repetition? The extra gravitas of attributing it to him?



#486 Magoo

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 22:47

No, totally be that guy. I'm always amused when it turns out a famous quote is not at all what we think(and it seems to be often). I'm curious why it ever became Hemingway's. Accident and repetition? The extra gravitas of attributing it to him?

 

Yep, I think it's something people wish Hemingway had said...even though he never showed any huge interest in auto racing, and his feelings about bullfighting were complicated and conflicted and became more so as he grew older. 

 

However, it is one of those quotes that journeyman auto writers should know is a fake -- like the one about fat drivers and skinny tires. Been around enough times. 



#487 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 15:23

More progress. The radiator inlet ducts are now fitted and the water system is being mocked up. It will all have to come apart again but it's nice to see something that resembles a car again.....

 

 

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The above photo is of the boost controller which is mounted on the hoop above the drivers knees. This was a new system for Penske in 1994 developed I think by Gary Denton. The position of the solenoid is not ideal as it's a long way from the action - try blowing down a 3m long -4 hose and you will see what I mean. Eventually it ended up above the transition at the rear of the plenum. A great innovation non-the-less. You can just see the gold knob of the emergency lock-out valve that could make the system operate in pure mechanical mode. 
 

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Shock POTS now mounted on the bell crank gears.....
 

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The underside of these pod entries was completely re-skinned as it was a bit of a mess, presumably post Gary Bettenhausen's MIS crash in 1996. 
 

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You can see the top of the rear airjack to the rear of the car here and the carbon clutch cooling duct that mates to the floor in this photo. 
 

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Rear Mono-Bump. Not sure why this photo is so dark but it looks kinda moody!
 
 

Edited by Patrick Morgan, 30 July 2014 - 15:26.


#488 JadeGurss

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 00:47

I'm enjoying seeing the progress Patrick is making!

 

One small note: the hardcover version of BEAST is (finally) available in the UK and Europe. http://www.amazon.co...d/dp/1937747336

 

Thanks!

 

Jade.



#489 mariner

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 10:46

Looking at all these stunning pics ( thanks Patrick) and reading Nigel Bennet's autobiography it is ineresting how similar to a modern F1 team the Penske operation was back then.

 

The pics in Nigel's book show the Poole factory as beyond spotless in the modern f1 idiom. Monday morning management meetings were held to review and schedule work in a structured way etc. The boss even wore a smart suit!

 

Similarly the PC23 itself is mass of precise and tiny parts , all wondefully fabricated. moulded or machined.

 

Just like modern f1 Roger Penske was the "team principal" but delegated the actual operational work to others except on race day.


Edited by mariner, 03 August 2014 - 10:47.


#490 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 17:49

Nah... way, way beyond modern F1 team principals. RP wanted to know what springs you were running, and what springs were in the other cars. He wants to know EVERYTHING, and he'll suss you out if you are fibbing, so if you don't know then just say so. He is incredibly detail-oriented. Although he was busy expanding the empire, he would call Reading and Poole every day to find out what was going on, and hand down directions for the management to act upon. About as hands-on as it's possible to be without actually being in the building.



#491 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 17:55

Looking at all these stunning pics ( thanks Patrick) and reading Nigel Bennet's autobiography it is ineresting how similar to a modern F1 team the Penske operation was back then.

 

The pics in Nigel's book show the Poole factory as beyond spotless in the modern f1 idiom. Monday morning management meetings were held to review and schedule work in a structured way etc. The boss even wore a smart suit!

 

Similarly the PC23 itself is mass of precise and tiny parts , all wondefully fabricated. moulded or machined.

 

Just like modern f1 Roger Penske was the "team principal" but delegated the actual operational work to others except on race day.

One of the many things that really blew me away when I first arrived at the race shop in Reading in 1997 was the level of reporting, of tests especially. We did at lot of that sort of stuff at Ilmor but it felt as if it was a reliability (and therefore very critical) exercise rather than much to do with performance which was done away from the track. The chassis stuff was by no means exclusively about performance but it's way more performance orientated than anything I had seen up until that point. I'm wiser now but at the time it took me aback.  I've got a couple of 1994 test reports and some documentation from Penske cars and I can tell you it was every bit as concise as F1, probably more so in the case of many teams and I have direct comparisons from around that time that I've managed to put together. 

 

Reading the stuff you start to understand why they turned up and were quick at every track in '94. Conversely, and Nigel can tell me I'm quite wrong in this, but I can see how this level of discipline can be your undoing when something fundamental goes wrong. Having done a huge amount of analysis can (I have found) cloud your judgement of situations. I wouldn't say it's over confidence, maybe over-reliance on what you know rather than acknowledging early on that you don't know. And the biggest problem there is that your yard stick is the competition and you sure as hell don't know what they're doing...( and you can waste an awful lot of time trying to figure it out before discovering it doesn't apply to your configuration of car or engine). So you can run out of time before you know it. Then of course if you're onto a good thing but don't change anything you just go backwards! As to Lehrer sang about the boy scouts of America say "Be Prepared!".


Edited by Patrick Morgan, 03 August 2014 - 18:00.


#492 Nemo1965

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 17:59

Nah... way, way beyond modern F1 team principals. RP wanted to know what springs you were running, and what springs were in the other cars. He wants to know EVERYTHING, and he'll suss you out if you are fibbing, so if you don't know then just say so. He is incredibly detail-oriented. Although he was busy expanding the empire, he would call Reading and Poole every day to find out what was going on, and hand down directions for the management to act upon. About as hands-on as it's possible to be without actually being in the building.

 

Regarding Roger Penske: I was so amazed when I read Mark Donohue's book The Unfair Advantage how the Penske-lads often beat other, bigger teams (even factory-outfits) because of their attention to detail and testing, on a level other teams just didn't think of or didn't want to. Okay, that was the 60's and 70's, not the 90's... but still there are several chapters in the book that made me frown my eyebrows, with a thought like: 'Hey. Why didn't Porsche/Ferrari/Ford/Other team take that extra effort?'



#493 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 18:30

I don't think doing a lot of analysis can cloud your judgement necessarily, and besides, there was always going to be a much bigger force making judgements for us if we got lost.... Roger has always famously been very quick to change equipment if needs be - think back to dropping the McLaren for an Eagle at Indy in '73, or the F1 Penske for a March in 75, right the way up to dropping the PC28 for a Lola in 1999. Standard operating procedure when we found ourselves mired in a bad situation was to try as many solutions as we could possibly conceive - don't EVER tell RP that you don't have a plan, or can't do something, because he'll just overrun you and take matters in to his own hands.... "who do I have to talk to to get this done". 

 

If we failed to solve problems (and there were definitely occasions where that happened) then it wasn't because we knew too much or were over-reliant on what we knew, so much as we simply couldn't identify why we were slow. Then (setting aside occasional extenuating circumstances like having an uncompetitive key supplier, or a driver who has his own difficulties) the fundamental realisation slowly dawns, and you have to come to terms with the reality that, however much of a downforce gain this year's car represents over last year's (winning) car, your opposition has even more, and that's why they're killing you.



#494 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 19:25

If my memory is correct, and I'm partly going off things like photos from 'closed' tests, in 98/99 you guys ran a Reynard, a Lola, and your own car(s). You must have had some interesting insights into the relative strengths of the various chassis. I assume the 2000-2001 Reynard was the answer to the inevitable question.

 

I have a soft spot for the final AAR Eagle and like the last Penske would have loved to see them run on Firestones and with a Honda in the back.



#495 Marc Sproule

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 20:18

one of the most enjoyable aspects of my career was being able to visit laguna seca many,many times to document testing sessions of virtually all the champ car teams.

 

like team penske, all the teams treated testing with as much technological sophistication and professionalism that was available at the time.

 

a majority of the tests were private and most often i was the only media type allowed to document them. on rare occasions i was asked to leave and come back the next day when "secret" stuff wasn't going to be utilized. it was usually penske team manger derrick walker making the request. i was never not invited to observe in the non-secret sessions.

 

this was during the heyday of champcar racing...'80s and early '90s...and i reckon the level of competition was as high as any series in the world.

 

i consider myself fortunate in the extreme to have been an observor then and now i'm enjoying seeing all the info and visuals from a project such as the one in this thread.

 

i'm slowly working my way through my 70k+ racing images and there will be a lot more images added to my testing set, takes a lot of time but 'tis definitely a labor of love.

 

https://www.flickr.c...57626043689098/

 

all my sets....

 

https://www.flickr.c...81980@N03/sets/

 



#496 Patrick Morgan

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 13:05

I thought you would disagree Nigel! 

 

I've been in a couple of situations, and seen others with the car or bike (rather then the engine) where all the testing you've done tells you one thing and what's happening in reality is quite different. I remember once trying for months to sort out an oil consumption problem and all the data I collected with a colleague pushed us further and further in the wrong direction i.e. towards trying to fix something that made a small difference but was not the underlying problem. The actual issue was found totally by accident and cost nothing to sort out..... I think because I had put so much effort into collecting the vast amount of data, and found something that did correlate I wasn't able to stand back dispassionately and say "This makes a difference but it's not the smoking gun." I guess I let emotion (i.e. wanting to believe in the work I'd done) get the better of logic (what I'm doing isn't making a big enough improvement, it must be something else).

 

But then with an object that has bits moving 400 per second and vibrating like crazy you can keep telling yourself that you don't understand its behaviour well enough and more effort will yield results..... Probably this is down to a lack of formal education.



#497 Magoo

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 23:17

Regarding Roger Penske: I was so amazed when I read Mark Donohue's book The Unfair Advantage how the Penske-lads often beat other, bigger teams (even factory-outfits) because of their attention to detail and testing, on a level other teams just didn't think of or didn't want to. Okay, that was the 60's and 70's, not the 90's... but still there are several chapters in the book that made me frown my eyebrows, with a thought like: 'Hey. Why didn't Porsche/Ferrari/Ford/Other team take that extra effort?'

 

One of my favorite people, metal man Ron Fournier, likes to tell the story of discovering the Penske organization. At the time (1966-67) he was working for Ford/Kar Kraft and he encountered the team at a Can-Am race.  As he tells it, while the other teams were clowning and drinking beer, the Penske guys were having team meetings. They were in every way more organized and focused on succeeding than everyone else, it was like they playing a different game. It made quite an impression on him and he quickly hired on. 

 

Another friend, the late Leon Mandel, coined the term "unfair advantage" in reference to the team's gimmicks and gadgets, including quick-change brake pads and high-rise fueling rigs. But to me, RP's real unfair advantage was the total commitment to excellence. Penske operated at a competitive level others were unable and unwilling to match. In a way, they were the first truly professional racing team in America--or to put it another way, RP redefined professionalism in the racing biz. 



#498 desmo

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 02:27

Professionalism might be worth it.  Depends on what kind of beer is/was available.



#499 Nemo1965

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 11:54

I thought you would disagree Nigel! 

 

I've been in a couple of situations, and seen others with the car or bike (rather then the engine) where all the testing you've done tells you one thing and what's happening in reality is quite different. I remember once trying for months to sort out an oil consumption problem and all the data I collected with a colleague pushed us further and further in the wrong direction i.e. towards trying to fix something that made a small difference but was not the underlying problem. The actual issue was found totally by accident and cost nothing to sort out..... I think because I had put so much effort into collecting the vast amount of data, and found something that did correlate I wasn't able to stand back dispassionately and say "This makes a difference but it's not the smoking gun." I guess I let emotion (i.e. wanting to believe in the work I'd done) get the better of logic (what I'm doing isn't making a big enough improvement, it must be something else).

 

But then with an object that has bits moving 400 per second and vibrating like crazy you can keep telling yourself that you don't understand its behaviour well enough and more effort will yield results..... Probably this is down to a lack of formal education.

 

Again I have to turn back to Donohue's book, because another aspect that amazed and suprised was, how utterly lost very, very smart people (like Mark and Penske and all others) would get in testing. The chapters about the not-so-succesfull ventures in the book (the Lola-Ford of 1971, or the Lola-AMC T330 of 1973) were more fascinating than the chapters about the succeses. The tiredness really comes from the page when they tried to change the springs, the bars, track width, torsional rigidity and the engine... and still had the handling problems they started with. Then finally they solved it, and Donohue writes (not for the first time in the book): 'It was incredible how simple it seemed at last.'

 

I think those tales are indeed examples of 'too much information'.



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#500 mariner

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 15:35

A book I would recommend to anybody interested in aviation - or autonomous cars- is "QF32" by the captain on that flight,  Richard de Crespigny .

 

It tells how it took four highly experienced pilots all their skil to save the plane once the engine explosion had damagd  sensors and  wiring.

 

The bit relevant to the comment above is when the planes software told them to pump fuel into the damamged wing. The captain called for a flight deck review and vote on that direction. All four said "no way" and they were right.

 

That is an extreme case but overall logic and consideraton can sometimes outdo pure data.