Denver, N.C. (March 14, 2001) -- Developing a brand new car for the premier division of the Grand American Road Racing Association is no easy task. It takes months of hard work and painstaking design, and countless adjustments are often required...
Denver, N.C. (March 14, 2001) -- Developing a brand new car for the premier division of the Grand American Road Racing Association is no easy task. It takes months of hard work and painstaking design, and countless adjustments are often required before the car becomes competitive. After all, the road racing world is unlike that of NASCAR, where new cars are built and can be competitive right out of the box.
Defying this convention, the new Crawford SSC2K was competitive in just its second time on the track, recently finishing in third place in the Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway March 3. In fact, the Doran-Lista team, the first to field the Crawford SSC2K car, even led the race at one point -- another milestone for the car -- and finished on the lead lap.
The Crawford SSC2K competes in the SportsRacing Prototype division, the fastest and most exotic in road racing. It is here that technology is pushed to the limit, and creativity and ingenuity are rewarded on the track. The Crawford SSC2K is unique in that Crawford & Crawford Composites designed all of the parts on the chassis with the exception of the brakes, rotors, calipers and Judd V10 engine. This gives them an advantage over the competition because they literally know this car inside and out.
"There is a steep learning curve," explained Andrew Scriven, chief designer of the Crawford SSC2K. "There is a lot we still need to learn about optimizing the setup. Mechanically the car is very good."
To date, there only have been two minor setbacks to the program. The first came during the January test session for the Rolex 24 at Daytona when the team found that they had too much downforce in the car -- a unique problem. This was solved with a redesign of the nose that created more balance between the front and rear resulting in increased top speed on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway, yet still providing critical downforce through the curves of the infield.
The second obstacle surfaced during the Daytona race in the form of gearbox failure. This, too, appears to have been solved with the assistance of Gemini, the manufacturer. Gemini flew in a technician from England with parts to work with the Doran-Lista team during the Homestead event, and the component worked flawlessly. The goal of the company is to get the gearbox to run 5,000 miles without failure.
"I am really impressed with how quickly the Crawford SSC2K has become a competitive vehicle," said Max Crawford, owner of Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc. and one of the designers of the new Crawford SSC2K race car. "For us to finish on the podium in just the second race, and to solve the problems associated with the bodywork and gearbox in just three weeks is nothing short of outstanding. Finishing the race (at Homestead) was our first concern. Overall, the team was very encouraged by the results. Now we can go about making some minor refinements."
The next test for the Crawford SSC2K will take place at Phoenix International Raceway April 21 for the running of the Sun Automotive 200.
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