Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Part 12- My Fantastic Supreme 2009 Indy 500 Photo Diary Blog Type Thang: Rent-A-Racer?

Here we see the crack crew of Dreyer & Rheingold Racin’ Inc., LLC, meticulously going over the outside of one of their rent-to-race Honda Indy V-8 engines.

Just about all they are allowed to do to it is wipe it off and swap exhaust headers on it, maybe, because it is currently against the law to open up a real and powerful IndyCar engine and tinker with it, because they don’t really own it.

See…Honda is kinda protective and jealous of their stuff, so they don’t let anybody buy one of their engines and soup it up.

So, Honda uses a whole bunch of ThreadLocker on all the nuts and bolts, and they really torque them down extra tight at the factory in Japan somewhere so that curious and inventive mechanics can’t tear the engines down and be sneaky and innovative.

One just borrows a Honda racing mill, and when one breaks it, one simply puts it in a cardboard box, along with a big check, and ships it FedEx Next Day Air back to Honda for a replacement power plant.

It wasn’t always like this…

Back in olden times, one used to see a lot of real and fast Indy racing engines taken apart and spread out all over a table in the garage area.

(Rick Johnson photo)

And, teams had specialists…engine guys…who could tear down and rebuild an engine in short order.

(Rick Johnson photo)

Now, all we have are dudes who bolt on exhaust parts and electronics packages.


Not quite as romantic…

That’s what I think.

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