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#1 Magee

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 01:40

Forumites,
I picked out the title, "Cheater Engines" from an article describing Formula Atlantic activities in a news article back in 1982. In 2003 would you find the "cheater engines" phenomenon in formula racing closely regulated or not? How is the threat handled now?

Formula Atlantic 1982 Preview
By Scott Simpson, The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, August 19, 1982

With overall points leader Tim Coconis apparently through on the Formula Atlantic circuit, fellow Californian North Hunter leads a pack of drivers who have chances to seize the lead at this Sunday's Westwood race.
Hunter, the 1981 rookie of the year as well as the third place finisher at the Westwood race last season is No. 2 in points with 74 in his Ralt RT4 compared to Coconis' 78 after six races.
Known as a volatile personality, Coconis allegedly vowed to quit Formula Atlantic racing for good in the wake of two disputes with officials at the Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin race August 8th.
Coconis' complaint that other racers used cheater engines during qualifying was ignored and, coupled with orders to raise the height of side skirts on his own car, he reportedly blew his stack and won't compete again - at least for the rest of the season.
Also absent from the race will be defending Westwood champion Rogello Rodriguez. Lacking sponsorship to finance his own racer, he has been using fellow Mexican Jose Le Garza's RT4 whenever the latter is competing in CART races that conflict with the Atlantic schedule.
Close behind Hunter in point standings is Dan Marvin of San Francisco, in third sport with 69 points, driving an RT4.
The only Canadian in the top 10 point standings is Vancouver-born Allen Berg of Calgary, who finished second at Westwood in '81 and is currently tied with Le Gaza for ninth place at 49 points apiece.
At a press conference called Wednesday by Gateway Productions, promoters of the FA race, group spokesman Tom Wilson said he expects 25 competitors to participate in qualifying which goes Saturday from 1:30 to 2 p.m. and 4:45 to 5:30.
Included on the list of competitors are five drivers from the Lower Mainland. Andy Mahood of North Vancouver, Ross Bentley of Surrey, Bob McGregor of Langley and Vancouver residents Brian McLoughlin and Marc Akerstream.
McLoughlin and Terry Bemmill of Kirkland, Washington, members of the same racing team, are the only entrants driving 1982 model RT4s. McLoughlin's other distinction is being the oldest racer entered. He's a 49-year old Vancouver based law society bencher.
"The car cost us $35,000 without the engine," said McLoughlin, who missed last year's race because of a broken leg incurred when the brakes failed on his RT1 in the Edmonton FA.
"The (RT4) is much improved for 1982. It has a different suspension and changes in the ground effects position.
"Ralt has made numerous adjustments to make the car go faster. I'm just learning this year about a lot of those."

PIT PATTER - Gateway is calling this year's event the Gilles Villeneuve Memorial Race, in honor of the Quebec Formula One driver who was killed earlier this year…A total of $40,000 prize money will be offered with the top Formula Atlantic finisher collecting $8,000…There will be six support races on Sunday but in a cost-cutting measure, there will not be a Formula Ford race. The first green flag falls at 1:20 and the 56-lap Formula Atlantic event scheduled for a 3 p.m. start…Sponsors for this year's race are radio station CKLG and MCL British Cars.

Transcribed by Michael Gee
CMHF West Coast Historian

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 10:05

Did he ever prove the engines were cheaters, or provide information that showed that it was worth investigation?

There's a big difference between making the allegation and proving it to be true.

#3 marion5drsn

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 15:53

Cheater Engines: Other places.

Probably the top example of this is the Penske engine, which was definitely the top cheater of all time if one, looks at it from an anti-Penske side and is
a topper of all the others if looked at from a pro-Penske side. This caused a change in the rules to prevent this type of "cheating" the very next year. The engine didn't look anything like a Chevy engine in the valve gear area if one takes a good look at this.

The only other place that I know of is the Ford flywheel that was made by the factory in two different patterns that caused the Moment of Inertia of two flywheels to be different even tho they were of the same weight and the only criteria was the weight and no attempt was made to check the Part Numbers for this "defect". M.L. Anderson

#4 Ray Bell

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 21:40

Can you call that engine a cheater, Marion?

It was built to the letter of the rules... it was never intended to be a Chevy or anything other than an engine that fitted those rules.

The shortcoming was in the rules... they didn't specify 'stock blocks' or 'stock heads', they just specified that the engine must have pushrods...

#5 marion5drsn

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Posted 04 February 2003 - 23:50

Ray the point is that the point of ones view whether you are on Penskes side or on the opposite side. It was certainly not in spirit of the rules altho it was in the letter of the rules. The intent of the rules was to give the "stock" blocks a more nearly equal chance. :D M.L. Anderson

#6 JacnGille

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 03:36

Sadly, the spirit of the rules hasn't been observed in many a season.

#7 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 07:49

marion5drsn wrote:

Ray the point is that the point of ones view whether you are on Penskes side or on the opposite side. It was certainly not in spirit of the rules altho it was in the letter of the rules. The intent of the rules was to give the "stock" blocks a more nearly equal chance. M.L. Anderson


I agree with that.
I was at Indy that year in 1994 and I remember that even IMS officials declared that the rule for pushrod engines was more or less intended to encourage smaller engine builders to take their chance. Like the near similar concept Greenfield V8 was: a small company using the break given to challenge the big boys.
Nobody envisioned Ilmor or one of the other tradidtional engine builders (or another reputated engine building company) to take up the challenge as well. But of course, never exclude Mr Penske. The man has the habit to find a solution for everything that is invented or installed to prevent him to win his traditional annual "500" but usually it works derectly the opposite manner because he will find something to use any rule to his advantage.
Look at the last 500's. Spec' series cars, off the shelf available to everyone. So no more exclusive Penskes for his team only anymore. Does it stop him?
In the March heydays, customer cars to everyone: who did score the most victories with March chassis?

Back tot that Merc 500I engine: the most worthless part of it IMHO was the fact that Penske claimed that it was a risk to use the engine and for that reason they were not offered to other Ilmor customer teams too. I bet that if other Ilmor customers had been given the offer, some of them would gladly have taken the risk!
Penske also claimed that everybody else could have done the same. He convieniently overlooked the fact that his team was the only team who had a direct connection with any of the engine builders, Ford & Honda only supplied engines to teams and had no works teams like Pesnke was Ilmor's works team.
So: maybe not a genuine cheater as the opener of this thread intended but the Merc 500I was definitely an engine that bend the rules to the utmost.


Henri Greuter

#8 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 07:59

Another tricky engine, (non F1)

The Audi V8 used in the DTM Audi V8's of 1991

Mercedes was running wild that year with the 190 2.3 Evo2 (that small Merc with the F40 style rear wing) and drove Audi and BMW into the ground. Audi then found out that with reversing the rotation direction of the crank that the engine performed better and thus the car too. Not enough to be competive against Mercedes but good enough to leave BMW for dead too, just like Mercedes already did. BMW utterly humiliated of course...
When BMW found out about that crank, they complained, protested and did about anything else to forbid Audi to use these counterrotating V8's, got it their way and Audi withdrew from the series.
former F! driver Marc Surer was behind the banning of the Audi V8 on behalf of BMW by the way.

Cheating or innovative applicationinterpretaion of the rules?

Henri Greuter

#9 green-blood

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 08:08

how about these 2

BMW AMLS M3 CSL - no M3 ever came fitted with a V8 !!!

or Toyota in the WRC - kicked out for a year for running Carlos Sainz et al in Celicas with bigger turbos...tut tut

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 08:59

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Another tricky engine, (non F1)

The Audi V8 used in the DTM Audi V8's of 1991

Mercedes was running wild that year with the 190 2.3 Evo2 (that small Merc with the F40 style rear wing) and drove Audi and BMW into the ground. Audi then found out that with reversing the rotation direction of the crank that the engine performed better and thus the car too. Not enough to be competive against Mercedes but good enough to leave BMW for dead too, just like Mercedes already did. BMW utterly humiliated of course.....


I'd like to hear Marion's opinion on that one...

But he might need more details.

Also, how did they get the drivetrain to reverse its rotation?

#11 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 10:34

BMW AMLS M3 CSL - no M3 ever came fitted with a V8 !!!


=====

I suppose that makes even all those NASCAR machines illegal too: try to find a Ford Taurus with V8 and rear wheel drive!


More seriously: Off topic I know. But BMW bitching like hell over that M3 V8's legality, withdrawing the cars from racing and so on because of the penalty's applied on them.
And all of that after the fact that these penalties were invented to prevent cheating methods like they did. I know, they weren't the first to bend and break the rules in GT racing but racing within a Production GT category with a car that wasn't for sale at all with such an engine?

I have much more respect for Ferrari teams at Le Mans that sacrificied the aerodynamic underbody and gearbox gizmo's of the standard production Modena for the bare fact to comply to the rules for the category at Le Mans. Or Spyker that also sacrified the aerodynamic undertray of the car and, together with Saleen accepted the penalties for not forfilling all homologation obligations.
(Yes I know, it is debatable of cars that don't comply to the homolgation rules should be allowed to enter Le Mans to begin with! Nevertheless, handicapping them and thus provide them a manner to get something off the ground is at least a stimulation to start and continue such a program)
Compared with BMW's bitching for not being allowed to use a not-in-production being car within a ccategory for series production GT's! (Booooh Miserable Whankers!!!)

But BMW has a record in that to boost.

'99: Gerhard Berger complaining about the fact that at Le Mans the rules benefitting the turbocharged cars over the atmo's.
Who won that year's Le Mans event?????


Henri Greuter

#12 fines

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 16:34

Oh yes, engine cheats... they all do, don't they?

Dan Gurney's "stock-block" Gurney-Weslake-Ford was anything but stock, as AAR's own engine man Bill Fowler conceded in late 1967, just after replacing the last stock Ford part on it, the oil pump drive, by a specially built racing part...

#13 Evo One

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 17:18

"Audi then found out that with reversing the rotation direction of the crank that the engine performed better "

Actually I think Audi changed the crank from 90 deg to 180 - this allowed them to have amuch better designed exhaust manifolds. I think they had about 2000 more usable RPM.

#14 CLX

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 17:52

Wasn't there someone who once said "win of you can, lose if you must, but always cheat"?

#15 Bladrian

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 17:55

Originally posted by Ray Bell

There's a big difference between making the allegation and proving it to be true.


Apparently not, if you're a politician and a general. :(

#16 marion5drsn

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 20:34

Quote from above; Evo One


"Audi then found out that with reversing the rotation direction of the crank that the engine performed better "

Actually I think Audi changed the crank from 90-deg to 180 deg. - this allowed them to have a much better designed exhaust manifolds. I think they had about 2000 more usable RPM.

This sounds much more logical than reversing the crank. If they somehow reversed the crank they would still have a 90-degree crankshaft. With the attendant exhaust tuning problems. And odd fact about this is that it might be easier to produce a 180-deg. shaft, as they don't have to twist the shaft to achieve a 90-deg. pattern.

Another fact about this is the rear axle is designed to turn just one way due to the Hypoid Bevel
Ring gear and Pinion wheels and the pressure angle are made to turn only one direction. Thats why the Pinion is only on the one (left?) side of the Ring Gear. Gleason made it that way about 1928 on Packard cars.
M.L. Anderson

#17 bbocaner

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 21:23

Originally posted by green-blood

BMW AMLS M3 CSL - no M3 ever came fitted with a V8 !!!


That would be the M3 GTR

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 21:29

Ah, Marion, again you bring out the issues...

First, though, is it possible that they reversed the rotation at the same time? This could have confused some, though I can see how it's much more likely that they simply changed the crank and cams.

Now, on the issue of Gleeson and his placement of the pinion... this is an interesting point. Indeed, the pinion is on the right hand side, this being the reason that the right rear wheel is ready to spin when the power is applied sharply with a live rear axle.

Now, there have been engines that have turned in the opposite direction. Almost 'naturally' you would expect some to be French!

The Renault Fregate of the mid to late fifties and later front wheel drive Peugeots do. The latter don't matter, they've got their own arrangments in place to make the car go forwards rather than backwards. But what of the Fregate... it had the usual pinion placement?

It had the direction of rotation reversed in the gearbox. Like a transaxle, the drive went in one shaft and out via the other... simple, and it lowered the driveline. So, it must have occurred to Renault, it was worth making an engine that spun backwards!

#19 marion5drsn

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 22:36

I have in the past been curious about just why the Mercedes 5001 engine at the Indy 500 was not a Chevrolet. Possibly this happened at the time that Chevy dropped the Ilmore engines and Mercedes bought it. Does any one know about this? M.L. Anderson

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 22:44

It was a few years after Chevrolet stopped funding/backing Ilmor... at least two, possibly five... I don't remember the dates on that.

#21 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 07:31

marion5drsn wrote:

I have in the past been curious about just why the Mercedes 5001 engine at the Indy 500 was not a Chevrolet. Possibly this happened at the time that Chevy dropped the Ilmore engines and Mercedes bought it. Does any one know about this? M.L. Anderson


===

Chevrolet had bowed out of the Ilmor partenership at the end of 1993. Remeber, in 1994 all CART engines provided by Ilmor were entered under their own name.
you had the Chevy-A, the '92 B (built as an answere on the smaller Ford XB engines), the 1993 C (even smaller than the B) and in 1994 Ilmor ran one seasun under its own name.
From 1995 Mercedes took the entire program over. But in advance they did fund the higly secret 500I program as they saw it a a great PR stunt and an excellent chance to make quite an impact allready at Indy/within CART shortly before their official start in '95

History proved them right....
But I still prefer the aftermath of the entire story about the 500I: that it eventually lead to Pesnkes DNQ's one year later at Indy!

Henri Greuter

#22 petefenelon

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:44

Originally posted by Henri Greuter


Chevrolet had bowed out of the Ilmor partenership at the end of 1993. Remeber, in 1994 all CART engines provided by Ilmor were entered under their own name.
you had the Chevy-A, the '92 B (built as an answere on the smaller Ford XB engines), the 1993 C (even smaller than the B) and in 1994 Ilmor ran one seasun under its own name.
From 1995 Mercedes took the entire program over. But in advance they did fund the higly secret 500I program as they saw it a a great PR stunt and an excellent chance to make quite an impact allready at Indy/within CART shortly before their official start in '95

History proved them right....
But I still prefer the aftermath of the entire story about the 500I: that it eventually lead to Pesnkes DNQ's one year later at Indy!

Henri Greuter


I think just in terms of the publicity that engine got when it broke cover it probably did more for good Mercedes than the rest of their CART programme. I remember the first rumours that Penske would be turning up with a "1000bhp super engine" from Mercedes and then when everyone realised it would probably have to be a be a pure-bred racing pushrod job the sheer chutzpah of the whole operation was amazing...

Karl Ludvigsen has a fantastic chapter on the development and brief career of the 500I in Quicksilver Century. Well worth reading.

pete

#23 Henri Greuter

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:57

Karl Ludvigsen has a fantastic chapter on the development and brief career of the 500I in Quicksilver Century. Well worth reading.

pete

===

Right.
Indeed, as much as I cursed Penske and Mercedes for doing that job and ruin the '94 race, so many years later I realize that I had seen motor racing history in a manner rarely seen before.

Henri

#24 petefenelon

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 14:59

Originally posted by Henri Greuter

Right.
Indeed, as much as I cursed Penske and Mercedes for doing that job and ruin the '94 race, so many years later I realize that I had seen motor racing history in a manner rarely seen before.

Henri


Mixing my sporting metaphors horribly, there's only one thing I love more than a good close race and that's seeing the goalposts moved by a team that's got the vision, the determination and the talent to completely overthow the status quo. Everyone was competing to the same regs at Indy - Cosworth could've built a pushrod motor; Greenfield already had one; Buick had been blowing up for years. Ilmor and Mercedes took the considerable risk and succeeded handsomely - though as has been said elsewhere on the thread it arguably turned them from hero to zero at the '95 500.

pete

#25 marion5drsn

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Posted 10 February 2003 - 23:34

Quote fron Henri; Karl Ludvigsen has a fantastic chapter on the development and brief career of the 500I in Quicksilver Century. Well worth reading.

I just this morning called my book supplier Zenith and they are out of this book! @#$%^&*()_+ .
Oh well it's my fault for not buying it back when it was available.
M.L. Anderson :mad:

#26 BRG

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 10:53

Originally posted by green-blood
or Toyota in the WRC - kicked out for a year for running Carlos Sainz et al in Celicas with bigger turbos...tut tut

Oh, it was a much better cheat than that. You can use any size turbo that you like in WRC. Toyota were much more subtle.

The Gp A regs for rallying specify a 34mm (?) air restrictor on turbos, which is sealed to prevent removal. This limits power from a 2000cc engine to supposedly 300bhp (in order to comply with the FIA's edict after the Portugal Rally fatalities of the 1980s that lead to the end of the Group B era) but in fact probably more like 350-400bhp.

Toyota built a spring loaded collar that moved when the engine was under load and admitted more air, thereby bypassing the restrictor. When scrutineered with the engine off, the movability of the collar was not apparent. All this only came to light after Juha Kankkunen crashed his car and the scrutineers got hold of it. Toyota were promptly (and rightly) banned from the WRC for a year. I have never heard how far up the Toyota hierachy the cheat was known of and authorised. It is hard to imagine that Ove Andersson (head of TTE) did not approve it, but did Toyota in Japan know?