Crawford SSC2K finds speed at Homestead test

Denver, N.C. (April 9, 2001) -- Recent chassis dyno testing, followed by on-track confirmation at Homestead-Miami Speedway, has aided the new Crawford SSC2K by finding more top speed and ridding the car of an acceleration gremlin that had plagued...

Denver, N.C. (April 9, 2001) -- Recent chassis dyno testing, followed by on-track confirmation at Homestead-Miami Speedway, has aided the new Crawford SSC2K by finding more top speed and ridding the car of an acceleration gremlin that had plagued the Doran-Lista team.

After finishing third at the Homestead race March 3, Doran and Crawford continued development and modifications to the vehicle. What they found on the chassis dyno surprised them, but confirmed suspicions they had as far back as the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February, the first time the Crawford SSC2K performed in competition.

On the dyno, Doran validated that the car accelerated rapidly, but would soon drop off and "bog down" through certain areas of the race track, such as the banking of the turns. It was determined that due to the design of the gearbox, the oil would pool in the gears and overheat causing torsional drag.

The transverse gearbox (essentially "upside down") was designed to be an advantage with the weight low to the ground, and to give easier access for a quick change during competition. To solve the flooding problem, Crawford added an additional pickup pump and regulated the amount of oil squirting on the gears by installing jets in the main gallery.

Crawford also found that the radiator intakes were collecting trash and clogging. They relocated the intakes from underneath the body to higher up on the nose, and fortunately incurred no drag penalty by doing so.

As the three-day test session progressed, the Crawford SSC2K gained more speed on the straights, and chopped 1.5 seconds off the lap times from what the Lista-Doran team had been running during the race. Behind the wheel for the test were Didier Theys and Ross Bentley, regular team drivers.

"We went back to test at Homestead because we had just raced there (in March)," explained Max Crawford, one of the designers of the Crawford SSC2K. "This meant that we had hard data to use as a base for comparison. We could prove the chassis dyno results in a controlled, real world situation."

Heading into Phoenix, Crawford is pleased and optimistic about the car.

"Obviously we should be a lot more competitive," he said. "This puts us in a lot stronger stead. The car is extremely reliable, and the gearbox appears bulletproof. We will make a few more minor aero changes between now and then, but we don't have any serious issues left that we can pinpoint. All our primary questions seem to have been answered."

The next competitive test for the Crawford SSC2K will take place at Phoenix International Raceway April 21, for the running of the Sun Automotive 200. The race will be televised live on Speedvision starting at 10:00 p.m. EDT.

Crawford Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Didier Theys , Ross Bentley , Max Crawford