Crawford SSC2K prepares for Daytona 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2001) - Engineers and designers at Crawford Race Cars returned to the drawing board to enhance the Crawford SSC2K chassis following an early January test at Daytona International Speedway. The creative team, led...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2001) - Engineers and designers at Crawford Race Cars returned to the drawing board to enhance the Crawford SSC2K chassis following an early January test at Daytona International Speedway.

The creative team, led by Crawford Race Cars owner Max Crawford and chief designer Andrew Scriven, has developed and manufactured a new nosepiece in preparation for the Crawford SSC2K debut at the 39th annual Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Feb. 3-4.

"After looking at the results of the tests, we had too much downforce," said Scriven, who has also designed chassis for Penske, Lola, Alfa-Romeo and Jaguar. "It's a nice problem to have, but one we had to address. The car would have been competitive in its current configuration, but it needed a little extra for Daytona.

"Based on previous wind tunnel tests, we've designed a nose that creates more balance between the front and the rear," Scriven continued. "The changes allow for higher top speeds in the straights and banking, while maintaining the right amount of downforce in the infield portion of Daytona."

Doran-Lista Racing, who has done most of the chassis' testing, will field drivers Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard, Ross Bentley and Mauro Baldi in the Rolex 24. The Kevin Doran team, who is a veteran of the sports car wars, brings a great deal experience and success to the table - most recently with the highly competitive Ferrari 333-SP chassis. Even with the team's readiness, Crawford awaits the Crawford SSC2K's ultimate competitive test.

"Admittedly, I'm a little apprehensive," the New Zealand native said. "You just can't control the unknown, especially on a new car. I have to say that I'm very happy with where we are, but a 24-hour race is so difficult on equipment. In reality though, I was nervous when we used to run proven cars at Daytona.

"I'm pleased that Kevin (Doran) is running the car," said Crawford, from his Denver, N.C. shop. "The Judd V-10 engine fits like a glove and Andrew Scriven has designed this thing to be a force in endurance racing." After putting more than 1,800 miles on the new Crawford SSC2K, a solid foundation has been set.

"Kevin pulled it apart and everything was perfect," Crawford noted. "Andrew designed it that way. We're extremely optimistic."

As the Grand American Road Racing Series season unfolds, two distinct configurations will be utilized.

"I think the new nosepiece will work well at Daytona, and possibly Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wis.)," Scriven said. "At other tracks like Homestead-Miami Speedway, we have a great downforce configuration."

The original design, which has a great deal of downforce, will take advantage of the more technical road courses and the newest design will compete at venues like Daytona.

-David Harris

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series GRANDAM