Saturday, October 14, 2006

Carl's Gizmo

I sent an email to Carl Watral asking about the spring-loaded gizmo on the shifter.

Carl is a very sharp guy and does not put things in a car without thinking them through. I knew it had to have some good purpose or it would not be there. I had just never seen anything like it.
The more I work on Hugh’s car the more impressed I am with the very original thinking Watral did. Most drivers sort of follow along with what everyone else is doing. Not Carl. He seemed to have analyzed each problem from a fresh viewpoint and come up with some elegantly simple solutions. This is not to say that the solutions were achieved with out a whale of a lot of work. For example, compare the original body to the current version.

Current Vee thinking has a lot to do with first, body aerodynamics and second, how easy it is to draft behind. Carl slimed the original Warrior down to a needle that would punch the smallest possible hole in the air. The smaller hole means it will have less wind drag to make it less work for our limited motors to push through the air and less turbulence behind the car. The less turbulence the harder to draft.

This kind of evolution is apparent in every aspect of the car.

Carl explained that spring trigger was a reverse "lock out" devise. That I understood. It is possible, on occasion to get the car into reverse when you are slamming things around during the heat of a race. This gadget was to keep that from happening. I did not understand however, how you got to reverse when you wanted it.
The FV rules say you have to be able to access reverse from the inside the cockpit of the car.

Now that I think about it, I have never seen a race official check that out. Maybe it is better to risk on being called out over something trivial, not performance enhancing and easily corrected, than to lose a race because you had a bad shift problem.

Sometimes you have to make choices.


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