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#1 Mark Beckman

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 09:13

I love cheat stories and would like to hear what you have heard or accomplished in the name of "getting that advantage" in Motor Racing !

Buford in another thread here describes his "way" to ensure that his car was legally over weight.

"I had something similar on one car I drove. We were not intentionally cheating, but the car was on the weight borderline. On some scales it was legal, on others it was underweight. So to avoid a hassle, I would stop at the pit after the race and they'd load the tool box and pit board and spare tire and jack etc into the car and a couple guys would hop on or in, and I'd drive them over to the paddock area on the way to the tech area. They would unload the stuff and I'd continue on. But in the process, a couple 25 pound weights stashed in the pit stuff would get slipped into the side panels. We never were underweight on the scale after the race".

My favorite;

Smoky Yunick in Nascar;

"There was a ride height limit and you had to drive over a measuring block at machinery before going on the track. As there was an advantage in running our cars low to the ground as possible we would put our shocks in the freezer overnight and at the last moment fit them to the car which would hold it up high and by the time we got on the track they were working again".

Love it ! :rotfl:

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#2 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 09:37

Colin Chapman at Le Mans - the rules in the 50's prohibited changing gear box components. The Lotus boxes were subject to wear so for the cars to last, the cogs had to be changed, obviously against the rules. During a pit stop the gear box would be removed and opened up, then placed in a bucket of oil for "cleaning and lubrication" purposes. Hiding in the bucket was a set of replacement cogs which were then taken out as the original "cleaned" components and put into the gearbox. I doubt if David Copperfield could have done better, apart from maybe replacing the entire car.

#3 Buford

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 09:59

Well I know lots of stories, but one I know for a fact is a kid who lived across the street from me, became a crew member of mine and eventually ended up on Mario Andretti's Budweiser Newman Haas Indy car in 1984 and 1985 if I recall. Whatever year they won the CART championship. Well this was the days of the skirts on the cars and at Indy they had some particular height limit for the skirts. So when my friend got on the team he was the team gopher. Basically he didn't do any mechanical work, but he loaded and unloaded the trucks, was the pit board man on race day, and ran for stuff, hustled the girls for the team (with my help), and drove back and forth to VDS engines in Midland, Texas picking up new engines and dropping off used ones.

Well anyway, at Indy his job was, any time the car was ready to leave the pits he went out with a rag and polished the car all over and while he was at it it slid the secret moveable skirts down, so the car had much more than legal downforce when it was on the track. Whenever the car came in off the track, he was the first over the wall with his rag, polishing the car again, and sliding the secret moveable skirts back up to legal height.

#4 Evo One

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 10:05

I heard a story about Andy Dawson who drove a Nissan Violet in world championship rallies. The engine was limited to 2 litres so they had a special long throw crank made that increased the capacity to about 2.3 litres. When the scrutineers asked for the head to be removed so they could check bore & stroke, the tops of some old pistons were cut off and placed on top of the two pistons that were at BDC. Bore was correct and so was the stroke!

There was also the famouse (but very ingenious) expanding turbo restrictor used on the works Toyota GT4s in (I think) 1992.

#5 Buford

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 10:16

I had another friend and competitor in my early racing years who was an inovator. He had a lot of money and he was always trying stuff on his Mini, lots of it borderline or outright illegal. He often gave me his trick (though legal) stuff to try out on my car first and if it worked and I blew him and everybody off, then he would take it away but at least I knew what it was. If it didn't work, then I would be the one who was screwed.

Well anyway, when it came to the really illegal stuff, his scam was to show up at tech check with greasy hand prints all over his white Mini. Or in some cases something blatently illegal and obvious. Then when they hassled him due to the car not meeting the rules of a "neat and clean appearance", or when they spotted the totally illegal thing, he would put up a monumental argument. The Chief Steward would have to be called. Another massive argument would take place. Just at the point they were going to throw his ass out, he would capitulate and agree to wipe off the grease, or remove the totally illegal thing. By then he had wasted so much of their time, they never noticed the trick illegal thing he was really trying to use and they would pass him through tech and he'd get to run is scam parts.

BTW, the guy went on to win a Trans Am race in a Camaro back in the days when the Trans Am was still an important series.

#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 10:53

Mark,

Yunick's real classics were:

a) the 7/8th scale car.

When the current breed of NASCAR dinos cam into existance (wrap a bunch of tubes together, squeeze an engine in it and make it look like a streetcar after being chopped etc) Yunick came with a 7/8 scale of a car, I forgot which one. lower frontal area, less drag ect made it faster. Nobody understood how he did it till they finally measured up the car and found out that everything in shape proportions and sizes were OK, but it was 7/8 th of what it should be!


b) The hidden fuel tank

One year Smokey's car had incredible fuel mileage and nobody understood how he did it. eventually his car was taken apart by NASCAR officials to find out where the hidden fuel tank had to be. Nothing found but a number of other infringments.
Smokey came back, saw his car stripped to the frame, even the fuel tank disconnected. Then the Officials told him that hey had counted (I believe) 17 reasons why his car was illegal.
Smokey stepped in the chassis, started the engine, which inmediately came to live and said: "Better make that 18!" and drove away, the legal fuel tank still laying on the ground.

Another classic:

Jim Hurtubise winning the Atlanta Stock car race of 1965 (or 1966?)
He had a screw driver with him in the car to lower the car during the race. His victory lap took awfully long and everybody assumed it was because of cherishing his first big victory after his near fatal crash in '64. Real reason: he had to raise the car again and then discard the screwdriver without anybody noticing it!


NASCAR history is loaded with such stories, especially the Pre-Winston era.

Cheating in F1, the 1982 watercooled brakes come to my mind instantly.
Tyrrell's mechanics having `dirty hands` in 1984 when refilling the cars with water for the waterinjected cossies he used.

At Indy the most recent cheating trick I can think about is the 1994 Mercedes engine within the Penskes that year. Rules permitted it but it wasn't performed within the spirit of the rules.


I also know that Menard did something at Indy in 1995 which they didn't dare to do anymore in 1996 though my source wasn't willing to tell what it was. But the approval he gave was as follows.

Back in '95 the Menard cars were fastest and qualified 1-2 (Brayton and Luyendyk) at about 233 mph. Fastest non Menard was a Reynard-Honda of Scott Goodyear.

One year later, Luyendyk drove a 1994 Reynard chassis with Ford XB engine. The track had improved somewhat and he had the Reynard up to 239.6. (We can only wonder what he would have achieved if he had a more powerful Ford XD engine or (dream dream dream) a Honda V8 in the back of that car)
Anyway, he surpassed the best ever performances for a Reynard-Ford with more than 7 mph. The very same Lola-Menards of Team Menard however only gained 4 mph and never matched Luyendyk in outright speeds. If Luyendyk managed to gain 7 mph with a less powerful car the a Lola-Menard, then why did the Menards not break 240 with ease?

My source told me that this was because Menard discarded a trick that they had used the year before and realized they had got away with it but didn't dare to try it yet again. (First year IRL remember? And IRL needed credibility to be taken serious that first year) Besides that, they were confident that with none of the CART teams at hand to provide real opposition, they didn't need it to get their cars ahead of everybody in qualifying and the race. Nobody was more relieved when Luyendyk was eliminated for the Pole after all because he had caught them totally by surprise with that speeds.
On my question if he knew if Luyendyk's 1996 car was cheating he told me that as far as he knew not. That particular chassis was a kind of Godsend to a driver at Indy and possibly at Indy the finest handling Reynard 94I in existance. It wasn't so good at other tracks but Arie had stated that it seems af if that car was built with Indy in mind only. it responded so well to everything they tried.

Henri Greuter

#7 Henri Greuter

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 12:09

Two other cheaters I remember.


A dutch driver Lex Beels competed in F3 in the days of the Cooper-Norton's. One race he appeared in an event for which starting money was payed as long as the cars appeared on the grid, ready to take the start.
His engine broke down but in an attempt to save the starting money he pushed the car on the grid and when officials came by to check if the cars had started their engines he kicked the frame of the car like hell to resemble chassis vibration because of the engine.
Then he failed to leave the grid....
But received the starting money.....


Another cheater, 1952 at Indy.
At that time the front wheel driven cars, the Blue Crown Specials and the Novi Specials lost their edge because the new generation of drivers and the latest generations of rear drive cars could be driven faster than ever before at Indy. Blue Crown team owner Lou Moore then claimed that it also had to do with the fact that the latest engines didn't leak as much oil at tht track anymore. Front Drive cars performed better on a more slicky track.
The Novi team then did the following. His Novi cars had a small wrap-arount front bumper at the nose of the cars. For 1952 the bumper was widened with the edges in front of the front wheels. An oil pump was installed to pump tiny amounts of oil, being sprayed on the track in front of the driven front wheels through the nozzles that were at the end of the bumper. Drivers Duke Nalon and Chet Miller thus had the chance to lay down some oil at the track where they needed it!
Eventually the sprayers were not used in the race because the oil amounts that could be sprayed were too small to make much of a difference. But the trick went unnoticed.


F1 cheaters, must we consider the introduction of the toluene fules during the turbo era as cheating or creative interpretations of the rules?


One more cheater, at least I think it is a cheater

I am affraid that the following comment will earn me the disgust of the many BMW fans within the forum but in my opinion the AMLS title of 2001 for the M3 GTR V8 is a cheater too.
GT3, N-GT and comparable classes are meant for the cheapest and bottom level GT cars in production, showroom cars so to speak. That M3 V8 wasn't even in production, let alone for sale when it won the title, in contrast to Porsches and Ferrari Modena. Even GTS cars like the Vipers and Corvettes are showroom available or can be ordered. A lowest GT category car, production based so to speak, wasn't available to the man in the street who wanted one. I can imagine this being possible for GT2/GTS cars like Listers, Seleens, Ferrari 550. But with a lowest category production GT car?
And BMW stepping out of racing with the car when, understandably something was done to encourage that a prototype became genuine production car at last......
I wonder, don't the rules state that a car can get dispensation to be raced for one year but must be in production the next year. With the production of the M3 V8 shelved, does that mean that the title schould be taken away because it was won with a car that didn't comply to the rules of the moment and future rules to which it was subject to as well?

And before I have to take the bullet on that one too: Yes, I do understand that the Spyker `Double Twelve`doesn't comply to the rules for a bottom line GT car either, not being produced in decent number yet. I know that.
But, like Saleen, they were reasonable enough to pay the penalty for that with accepting the restrictions as were applied to them, penalties partly inspired by the M3 V8 appearance.

For the record: I don't have something against the M3 V8 as a car. As a car I think it''s an interesting impressive piece of machinery.
But make it comply according the rules valid for everyone else or pay the penalty for being an not yet legal car that can be raced though with some restrictions. Keep production indeed production.
Saleen and Spyker did show far more sportsmanship with accepting the penalties and still compete after all that BMW does with crying fool after being the umpteenth case of cheating and sanction boards finally doing something against such tactics at last.

Henri Greuter

#8 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 15:46

Henri, good point, and well the Ferrari 250 GTO was never made in the amounts it should have, so they were cheating too and it later led to the trouble Ferrari had with homologation of its later cars.

About tricks, how about Shell and his lap which made Tony Brooks start behind him in the deciding race of the wold championship (Sebring 1959?), and also how about Derek Daly taking the short cut at Dijon (Swiss, yes swiss, GP 1982) and everybody thinking he had beaten Keke because he was using the front wings and Keke wasn't.

And from Mexico, Moisés Solana used to race R8 Renaults and beat everybody in the smallest categories by huge margins. People would sya he had an oversized engine and stuff so one time he would swap cars with the second place finisher and then beat him again in a 5 lap race. Besides being a great driver, Moisé had a trick which was never discovered, his brother told me they would use a very light oil in the engine, something like the oil used in sewing machines and have a much larger carter than the normal kind, and this would make the engine cooler and more efficient. He was largely undefeated throughout his career and in R8s he always won. He was a great driver but the 'unfair' advantage was there too.

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 16:01

The admirable Smokey Yunick told me of what he described as his most successful NASCAR ploy - it went something like this: "Mistah Nah - I tell you, when you weld turbo fins on the flah-wheel of your motor, and you build a kind of trunking that fits around it and up behind the dash-panel, and you build a kind of trunking under the hood that fits close around the car-bew-rayda when the hood's closed, and the other end of that trunking also matches up - when the hood's closed - with the trunk comin' up from the flah-wheel... I tell you, fahv to seven pounds boost at top arr-pee-emms is real useful in a race car... We ran that for two years - they never did spot that one..."

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#10 rdrcr

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 17:41

Some of my favorite Yunick stories have already been told, and that one by 'Mistah Nah' I had never heard of until this moment.

I'm sure that rule bending and breaking has been going on as long as they started writting rules down... it's the nature of the game, especially it seems, in NASCAR.

Darrell Waltrip said after having his qualifying time for the 1976 Daytona 500 disallowed: "If you don't cheat, you look like an idiot. If you do it and you don't get caught, you look like a hero. If you do it and get caught, you look like a dope. Put me in the category where I belong.

In NASCAR's Good Old Days, cheating was rampant. The car builders and mechanics knew more about a car than any NASCAR inspector.

But it was pretty hard to hide things in the days when the cars had to be "showroom" or "strictly" stock. It was a simple matter of going over the car with factory specs. And what didn't comply, was judged illegal, and had to be fixed before you could go on the track. Still, a few found ways to avoid detection. But it wasn't because of expert engineering. One time, Lee Petty drove a car that had a heavy-duty rear end, and an illegal carburetor. When he was called for inspection after the race, he parked the car outside the NASCAR garage and raised the hood. Richard was already turning the bolts to take the old carb off when a couple of inspectors came out and curtly inquired as to why he had the hood up, and that he'd better close it in a hurry. The elder Petty told the inspectors that the radiator was being drained, and that "this boy was new, and has never done this before."

Somehow, the inspectors bought the excuse, went back inside, and left Petty to not only change the carb, but the rear end as well. The car passed inspection with the illegal rear-end and the carburetor sitting right in the trunk.

The Petty family, despite their beloved image, could bend the rules as much as anyone. And when it came time to cheat, their handiwork remained hidden from inspectors because the Petty's were always one step ahead of NASCAR.

An exception to this was Charlotte, 1983.

There are two stories to this saga. Which one to believe is up to you. But legend has it that Richard Petty was caught with an "oversized" engine after the race. Petty was fined, and points were taken away. Something about wax in the cylinders that meletd away, allowing for larger displacement.

But another story that floated around at the time bespoke of the brilliance of Richard's engine builder, his brother, Maurice. The rumor had it that Petty was not found to have an illegal engine, and that the infraction was, in fact, something infinitely more diabolical. During post-race inspection, a hidden compartment was supposedly found in the radiator. In that compartment was a bottle of Nitrous Oxide. The story goes on to tell us that Maurice had rigged this bottle to inject Nitrous into the combustion chamber of the motor via a small hose disguised as the fuel line. The driver could activate the Nitrous from the cockpit, thus giving him 25-30 more horsepower down the straights.

Could it have happened? Of course. Did it? Nobody will tell. Petty won't, and NASCAR sure isn't interested. Both parties are perfectly content to stay with the ‘oversized engine' theory. And why not? After all, had it been publicly revealed that Petty had driven a car so blatantly illegal, NASCAR would have had no choice but to disqualify the car's run altogether to appease the outrage from the drivers, sponsors, and other fans. And that would have meant that Richard Petty would have never attained the record of 200 wins.

The win he was allowed to keep was # 199.

One of the most brilliant bender of the rules was today's current NASCAR technical director, Gary Nelson. Nelson took the word cheating and turned it into an art form. Cars that he wrenched were the ones' to beat.

One involved the cars driven by Darrell Waltrip during one of his championship seasons. Nelson found a way to fill the entire roll-cage of the car with several hundred pounds of buckshot. The car was weighed before the race, and found legal. But when Waltrip went onto the track during pace laps, and reached the banking, he'd pull a hidden lever which allowed the lead to pour from under the car and roll harmlessly down the banking. On the radio, Waltrip would indicate a successful drop by yelling "Bombs Away!" Then, with the car weighing considerably less than the mandated weight, Waltrip would proceed to blow away the field.

NASCAR never discovered this trick. Nelson ingeniously located the exit spout where the jack was positioned. When NASCAR inspectors raised the car with a jack, they concealed the evidence, and cleared the car to qualify and run.

There was a rumor that circulated a few years back that Nelson also engineered a hidden system that injected Nitrous Oxide in the Engines that Darrell Waltrip used at Daytona one year.

When Nelson was working for DiGard, he built a "prototype" car to be entered in the upcoming Firecracker 400 at Daytona. An little-known driver named Greg Sacks took the car and blew away the field. The car was torn apart following the race, but nothing was found, nothing reported, anyway. Nelson's contemporaries still insist today that something was "not right" about that car, and that NASCAR wasn't smart enough to find out why.

It's little wonder that NASCAR tabbed Nelson to replace Dick Beatty. In fact, when the announcement was made, Richard Childress was forced to remark "About 99 percent of the cheating in this sport has just stopped."

#11 Barry Boor

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 21:13

My favourite cheat story has been mentioned before on another thread but as I am too lazy to search for it and as there are many new members since it appeared, I'll repeat it here.

This has never been confirmed and probably never will be but at the 1952 non-championship Grand Prix du Marne at Reims, Jean Behra blew away the Ferrari team, winning by over a LAP - in a GORDINI!

The general feeling, I gather, was that the Gordini had a 2.5 litre engine, or thereabouts, while the Ferraris were running in the then Championship specification of 2 litres.

This begs the question, why was Behra not disqualified. Well..... he was French; so was the car; it was a French race, need I say more????? ;)

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 July 2002 - 23:29

Originally posted by rdrcr
......It's little wonder that NASCAR tabbed Nelson to replace Dick Beatty. In fact, when the announcement was made, Richard Childress was forced to remark "About 99 percent of the cheating in this sport has just stopped."


Similarly, in Australia Harry Firth was appointed chief CAMS scrutineer... to applause at how smart the CAMS were setting a thief to catch a thief...

But one of the best cheats I know of here was Bob Jane's Camaro ZL1.

At Lakeside during the period I heard talk - quite open talk - about it having a Ford gearbox. I asked why nobody protested, but was told that "everybody's cheating so they can't..."

Later I wrote about that car and followed this story up. Pat Purcell and others told me about how they fabricated a steel housing that was similar but just a little larger than the original box, sandblasted it till it looked like a casting, painted it to look like aluminium... Peter Holinger made the gearset. Jane won the title using that box.

But the sequel has wider ramifications. Jane sold the box to Frank Gardner, who took it to England...

#13 Wolf

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 00:58

The thread Barry speaks of is:

http://www.atlasf1.c...&threadid=23415

Luckily, I remebered the thread title... :)

#14 Catalina Park

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 10:26

Ray Bells story on another thread reminded me of this one that I was involved with.

I was working on a Chev Monza that had two sets of rear wheels a set of 10" and a set of 12" wide, the maximum the car was allowed was 10" and the officials at Oran Pk suspected that the wheels were too wide but the measurement had to be taken with the tyre off the rim (the measurement was the rim at the bead) so they made us take the wheels off the car and take them to Dunlop and get the tyres removed off the wheels. The owner of the car took the wheels off the car to Dunlop with 2 officials keeping an eye on them and I took the legal wheels over without being watched and while the tyres were coming off the wheels I made sure that the correct wheels went out the door!

#15 Mark Beckman

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 14:09

Originally posted by Evo One
I heard a story about Andy Dawson who drove a Nissan Violet in world championship rallies. The engine was limited to 2 litres so they had a special long throw crank made that increased the capacity to about 2.3 litres. When the scrutineers asked for the head to be removed so they could check bore & stroke, the tops of some old pistons were cut off and placed on top of the two pistons that were at BDC. Bore was correct and so was the stroke!

There was also the famouse (but very ingenious) expanding turbo restrictor used on the works Toyota GT4s in (I think) 1992.




In one Rally (I think Tour de Course) the Nissans came first and second (Tony Pond I think) in Group 2 and the team (run by Andy Dawson) refused to have their engines pulled down citing that they were under explicit instructions from Nissan Japan that they were to be returned intact because of head gasket troubles that were trying to be cured at the time.

They were disqualified and gets me thinking that using the excuse that they did saves a lot of face compared to actually getting caught cheating.

#16 MarkWRX

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 14:40

I recall reading, I think in Peter Revson's biography that he was racing a sports car that was perhaps just a shade underweigt. At a post race technical inspection, the car was being pushed towards the scales when Revson casually tossed his helmet, with his balaclava and gloves stuffed in it, into the driver's seat. The car made weight, just barely and was pushed back to the pits. The helmet was removed, the gloves and balaclava taken out, and the 10 lbs of tire weights were removed.

#17 ensign14

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 10:49

In Jeux Sans Frontieres once, one of the games was for the competitors to assemble a Mini moke and drive it around an obstacle course. In the practice for the 'official' run, the British tended to be amongst the quickest at assembly (all those special buuilders!) but the Germans could always get around the course quickest.

When the official race took place, the British assembled their moke first but sprinted away from the field.

It turned out that someone on the German team had tweaked the engine of the moke allotted to them...and the night before the official run the British swapped the cars around...

#18 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 13:38

There was a feature on cheating not too many years ago in an issue of 'Classic & Sportscar' which included some new stories, such as 'Smokey's...

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#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 23:00

Three questions:

1 Why is it that such a high proportion of the cheats described above are American?
2 Why is it that the cheats described here are lovable rogues but the Benneton team of 1994 (or thereabouts) should have been banned for life? Is it perhaps because motor racing used to be a sport and you can cheat at sport and now it is business and you can't cheat at something as important as making money?
3 Is there any connection between the first and second question?

There followed the sound of screeching tyres as the poster disappeared in the direction of Brands Hatch for te weekend.

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#20 Mark Beckman

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 01:19

Originally posted by Roger Clark
Three questions:

1 Why is it that such a high proportion of the cheats described above are American?
2 Why is it that the cheats described here are lovable rogues but the Benneton team of 1994 (or thereabouts) should have been banned for life? Is it perhaps because motor racing used to be a sport and you can cheat at sport and now it is business and you can't cheat at something as important as making money?
3 Is there any connection between the first and second question?

There followed the sound of screeching tyres as the poster disappeared in the direction of Brands Hatch for te weekend.


1/ I dont beleive this for a nano second, just Americans are willing to talk and find humour "in the good ol' days" whereas Euro's are more serious on the topic and would be frowned upon even much later on.

Just a cultural difference I think.

2/a. See 1/.
2/b. Sport is just different overall nowadays but cheating has never changed and only applies to those who get caught and the ones who dont get caught are on occasion called "the winner".

3/ Yes.

#21 Buford

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 01:30

In the racing world when somebody is caught cheating and it is found out what was done, the car owner calls together the team and reems the hell out of them for not thinking of that cool deal first.

#22 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 02:09

Originally posted by Mark Beckman




In one Rally (I think Tour de Course) the Nissans came first and second (Tony Pond I think) in Group 2 and the team (run by Andy Dawson) refused to have their engines pulled down citing that they were under explicit instructions from Nissan Japan that they were to be returned intact because of head gasket troubles that were trying to be cured at the time.

They were disqualified and gets me thinking that using the excuse that they did saves a lot of face compared to actually getting caught cheating.



In the 1979 Motogard Rally of New Zealand Datsun 160Js finished second and sixth in the hands of Timo Salonen and Andy Dawson. They were both excluded when the team refused to allow the cylinder heads to be removed by the scrutineers. Three years later another Nissan driver, Yoshio Iwashita, was excluded after winning the Group B category on the 1982 Acropolis Rally for having an oversize engine. That engine was known to have been one of a special batch built three years earlier, the same time as the engines used in New Zealand.

#23 Mark Beckman

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 02:19

Thanks Milan, thats the one ;)

#24 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 05:23

I really can not remember the year, but at one Italian GP at Monza Fangio was aware of a nasty vibration that came from the engine. He noticed that the day before the race and he told this to his mechanic, who told Juan Manuel: "Do not worry, we will work this out before the race".

Next day, the race started and to Fangio's surprise, there was no vibration at all. He could finish the race and when he stopped at the pits he heard that one of his teammates was ranting about some vibration in his car's engine that had broken it. Fangio look at his mechanic and he heard: "well, we could not find the cause, so we change the car's numbers and that's it" :)

#25 garbo

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 06:38

Well anyway, at Indy his job was, any time the car was ready to leave the pits he went out with a rag and polished the car all over and while he was at it it slid the secret moveable skirts down, so the car had much more than legal downforce when it was on the track. Whenever the car came in off the track, he was the first over the wall with his rag, polishing the car again, and sliding the secret moveable skirts back up to legal height.

Is this really true?I find it unbelievable. I'm sure someone would pick up a move like that! And how were the skirts held in place? I'm sure you are sincere about your friend but it seems a cumbersome task.

#26 garbo

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 06:42

Originally posted by Buford
Well I know lots of stories, but one I know for a fact is a kid who lived across the street from me, became a crew member of mine and eventually ended up on Mario Andretti's Budweiser Newman Haas Indy car in 1984 and 1985 if I recall. Whatever year they won the CART championship. Well this was the days of the skirts on the cars and at Indy they had some particular height limit for the skirts. So when my friend got on the team he was the team gopher. Basically he didn't do any mechanical work, but he loaded and unloaded the trucks, was the pit board man on race day, and ran for stuff, hustled the girls for the team (with my help), and drove back and forth to VDS engines in Midland, Texas picking up new engines and dropping off used ones.

Well anyway, at Indy his job was, any time the car was ready to leave the pits he went out with a rag and polished the car all over and while he was at it it slid the secret moveable skirts down, so the car had much more than legal downforce when it was on the track. Whenever the car came in off the track, he was the first over the wall with his rag, polishing the car again, and sliding the secret moveable skirts back up to legal height.


Is this really true?I find it unbelievable. I'm sure someone would pick up a move like that! And how were the skirts held in place? I'm sure you are sincere about your friend but it seems a cumbersome task. (Sorry, I screwed up my previous reply.)
Arturo Pereira

#27 Buford

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 07:00

They just slid up and down. It only took and inch or two to make a big difference. Not something you could see visually on the track. Something easy to move without anybody seeing. Everybody had some kind of way to get around the skirt height. That's why they eliminated them. Too easy to manipulate.

#28 garbo

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 07:01

Well anyway, at Indy his job was, any time the car was ready to leave the pits he went out with a rag and polished the car all over and while he was at it it slid the secret moveable skirts down, so the car had much more than legal downforce when it was on the track. Whenever the car came in off the track, he was the first over the wall with his rag, polishing the car again, and sliding the secret moveable skirts back up to legal height.

Is this really true?I find it unbelievable. I'm sure someone would pick up a move like that! And how were the skirts held in place? I'm sure you are sincere about your friend but it seems a cumbersome task.

#29 Anorak Man

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 08:30

Well it has to be said that Formula One 'may' have a been subject to a 'bit-of-fiddling' over the years.

Here's one notable example related by a certain Mr. Robin Herd concerning Vittorio Brambilla outpacing Niki Lauda's Works Ferrrai, and taking a stunning pole position at the Aderstorp Swedish GP of 1975. (It'd be a bit like Massa or Panis snatching pole at the Hungarian GP, ahead of MS and JPM. The kind of thing that'd wake us up.)

Up till then, the best the Works March could do had been a fourth place.

To explain the new-found performance boost, Mr Herd related something along the line of:

"Well, our pit was located near the Start/Finish line, adjacent to the timing light-beam.
And it would not have been difficult to position the pit signal-board so as to trip the beam before Bram's car actually crossed the line. Whether or not this actually occurred, I'll not pass comment."

I'll bet Niki certainly wouldn't be so reticent eh?

AM

#30 MrAerodynamicist

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 11:50

Originally posted by Roger Clark
2 Why is it that the cheats described here are lovable rogues but the Benneton team of 1994 (or thereabouts) should have been banned for life? Is it perhaps because motor racing used to be a sport and you can cheat at sport and now it is business and you can't cheat at something as important as making money?

How about....

Most of the stories here involve unusual methods, ingenious ideas or slight of hand. Whereas (if you believe the accusations) Benetton simply added a bunch of lines to the cars computer code?

#31 Evo One

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 14:04

Originally posted by Milan Fistonic



In the 1979 Motogard Rally of New Zealand Datsun 160Js finished second and sixth in the hands of Timo Salonen and Andy Dawson. They were both excluded when the team refused to allow the cylinder heads to be removed by the scrutineers. Three years later another Nissan driver, Yoshio Iwashita, was excluded after winning the Group B category on the 1982 Acropolis Rally for having an oversize engine. That engine was known to have been one of a special batch built three years earlier, the same time as the engines used in New Zealand.


Another story that circulated at about that time was that for the RAC rally Nissan had an enormous service truck in which was an identical car to the one competing with the same registration and chassis numbers.

#32 Carlos Jalife

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 15:18

And there was also a story in rallying about Toivonen's car having the roll cage filled with nitrous oxide or something akin to make the engine perform even better and that's why the car exploded when he crashed and lost his life at Corsica. Never proved though and Toivonen was a hell of a driver so I doubt it but it made the rounds as a way of explaining the fierce fire that took his life. :cry:

#33 Buford

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 20:10

Reminds me of the story A.J. Foyt acknowledges in his book of his running in the most dangerous fire era, with his fire extinguisher system filled with extra fuel rather than fire retardant. OK, that takes balls.

#34 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 20:45

Originally posted by Evo One


Another story that circulated at about that time was that for the RAC rally Nissan had an enormous service truck in which was an identical car to the one competing with the same registration and chassis numbers.


Audi actually did swap cars on during the 1985 Ivory Coast Rally. Michele Mouton's car developed terminal cylinder head troubles and the team is believed to have switched her car with another Quattro that had been entered as a chase car. It was being driven by one of their leading mechanics and his job was to provide assistance to Mouton if she should strike trouble. Both cars disappeared into a stage and when they reappeared Mouton's car was running OK and the chase car was withdrawn. Mouton retired later in the event so there were no protests and the deception was never officially proved.

#35 ensign14

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 20:56

Grand Prix International published the results of an inquiry. One of the cars was hit by a train, IIRC. There was great play of checking whether the decals were removed. The investigators could find no evidence.

#36 Buford

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 21:11

One year at Indy a team, I forget who, was disqualified for qualifying the same chassis twice with two different drivers. They had changed all the number plates or whatever, but Frankie Delroy was a smart cookie. He remembered that their one car had three holes drilled somewhere underneath and the other ones had two. When the car with three holes appeared a second time after qualifying, he went and checked the other ones and they only had two. He knew then that he had them.

#37 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 21:29

Ive got some doozies, but unfortunately im down here at the bottom and id rather not squeal until they are word for word banned by the regulations ;) Im gonna send Buford a PM about a few of them, and if anyone else is interested give me a shout and ill give you some limited info.

One of the most amazing things ive discovered in my researching of various road racing rule books in Europe, is the scope of knowledge. Oval racing isnt as developed over there so there are aspects that havent been covered simply because they dont exist. There is at least one situation in a very very credible series where I could do something to my tires and rims that would under the letter of the regulations be legal but in the spirit of them not. And all thanks to my buddies in the sprint cars.

#38 bigbrickz

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 22:32

I'm probably remembering this all wrong, but in english Renault 5 turbo racing they had pop-off valves to limit the turbo pressure. The trick was to fill the pop-off valve with water and freeze it in the shut position. So the car would start the race with maximum pressure, but by the time the race ended and it was scrutineered the ice would have melted away and the pop-off would work fine.

Wonder if this trick was ever used in F1 ....

#39 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 22:38

Hell I wonder if they do that in CART. Except I think popoff valves are given at random very close to the start of each session.

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#40 peetbee

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Posted 03 August 2002 - 23:01

In Graham Hill's autobiography he describes how he & Cliff Allison 'shared' a car for practice (Oulton Park 1957) by Cliff having the car scrutineered with his numbers on, returning to the pits and Graham getting the car scrutinered with his numbers on. Swapping numbers continued all day to allow them both to practice. Graham's Lotus 15 then arrived 15 minutes before the start, after Mike Costin had driven it from London to Cheshire on the road. They then put the scrutineers ticket on it. In Graham's own words 'I was way up near the front row somewhere with this brand new car that had never been scrutineered or practised. Of course, all this was cheating like mad.'
Refreshingly honest!! :)

#41 Mark Beckman

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 09:06

Not sure it was cheating but I remember seeing pictures of the Nissan GTR i Group 'A' Rally cars being refueled with liquid that required the service crew to wear spacesuits and full face gas masks !!

Maybe not a cheat but didnt look right either !

#42 Vicuna

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 10:08

AJFoyt did not sit on the front row for his final Indy 500 on the strength of his driving ability.

The bulge in the lower leg area of his overalls was a givaway to a Nitous Oxide bottle that the organisers conveniently ignored seeing as how it was 'AJ' and it was his final run.

A famous NASCAR driver once told me 'If ya gunna cheat, don't go out a win by half a lap - that's plain dumb! Win by half a second!'

I think Richard Petty's engine for his final NASCAR win was somewhat greater than 358 c.i.

#43 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 10:21

Vicuna wrote:

AJFoyt did not sit on the front row for his final Indy 500 on the strength of his driving ability.

The bulge in the lower leg area of his overalls was a givaway to a Nitous Oxide bottle that the organisers conveniently ignored seeing as how it was 'AJ' and it was his final run.


Vicuna, with his last 500, do you mean the 1992 race or 1991? A.J. wasn't on the front row in 1992 (Guerrero, Cheever and??? (forgot who) were.

A.J.was on the front row in 1991 but I always believed that was the Hand of God and the help of Randy Lewis. I was there that day so I know what I'm talking about.
But I wasn't on pitlane so I could have missed the bottle....

And 1991 definitely wasn't his last race so.....



Henri Greuter

#44 Mark Beckman

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 12:56

Originally posted by Vicuna


The bulge in the lower leg area of his overalls was a givaway to a Nitous Oxide bottle that the organisers conveniently ignored seeing as how it was 'AJ' and it was his final run.


Are you sure it was a bottle?, some of those Pit Girls are pretty hot you know....... :rotfl:

#45 Vicuna

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 18:14

OK '91 - never let the facts get in the way of a good story!

As for the Pit lane girls being the cause of the bulge - I am talking just above the ankle but AJ is a big guy!

#46 VAR1016

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 18:41

About the time that Walter Rohrl made his famous ascent of Pike's peak, there was a feature in an English magazine about the event.

Part of this feature included an interview with a good old boy who had years of building specials for the climb.

This fellow was very amusing: e.g. "A driver should have a plexiglass stomach; that way he can see where he's going when his head's up his ass!"

Anyway one of this chap's tricks was to fit a switch to the dash labelled "nitro". He would then wait for the inevitable protest. When it was found that the switch did nothing at all, the protester was obliged to pay $100 compensation for an incorrect protest. "You gotta make you livin' the best way you can" was the builder's comment...

VAR1016 :smoking:

#47 Buford

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 18:53

AJFoyt did not sit on the front row for his final Indy 500 on the strength of his driving ability.
---------------------------------------------------

The general consensus was that USAC gave him a cheater popoff valve.

#48 Doug Nye

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 22:05

Nice one - is it cheating when officialdom collaborate and encourage????

DCN

#49 Buford

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 08:23

A.J. was no longer competitive in CART. Had not been for years. Had not been all month of May. Then suddenly he goes out late in the day and runs times much faster then he had all month. Something was up.

#50 Henri Greuter

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Posted 07 August 2002 - 08:32

Buford,

What I really couln't believe was the fact that AJ went out first that day, sets a thriller of a time, then Randy lewis wrecking it and the cleanup taking so long.
And the helping hand of fate: in the mean time a thunderstorm arriving but before opening , the temperatures rising so fast and so high that everybody was so much slower all of a sudden.
I am no Foyt fan but he also had the luck of circumstances.
It was a scenario one couldn't write or think about ion advance that particular day.

And who knows, maybe USAC did help out a little too: Remember it was the return of A.J. after his havey crash the year before at , I believe, Mid Ohio or Road America whe he took a Lola into the bushes.......

Henri Greuter