Series - Grand Am Cup Team - SpeedSource Inc. Sunrise, FL -- In addition to providing a place for drivers to develop into the stars of tomorrow, the Grand Am Cup is also grooming some of the engineering leaders of the future. SpeedSource, the...
Series - Grand Am Cup
Team - SpeedSource Inc.
Sunrise, FL -- In addition to providing a place for drivers to develop into the stars of tomorrow, the Grand Am Cup is also grooming some of the engineering leaders of the future. SpeedSource, the 2001 Grand Am Cup Grand Sports II Triple Crown Champions (Driver, Team, and Manufacturer Championship), has taken a leading role in that direction as they have provided the opportunity for engineering students to get a hands on experience on a professional race team.
Sylvain Tremblay, the owner of SpeedSource Engineering, is very pleased with how the program has progressed since its inception. "For the engineering students this is a great opportunity," commented Tremblay, the 2001 GSII Driver Champion. "They have all the latest equipment and research, but they have no hands on experience.
"We get to learn from them about the new technologies, but at the same time, they get to deal with everyday, high pressure situations, that simply cannot be taught in a classroom."
Dave Wagner is one of the engineers that came to SpeedSource this season. Wagner graduated from the University of Florida and attends Clemson University pursuing a degree in Motorsports Engineering.
"I started working with SpeedSource on their Grand Am Cup effort in January of this year," said Wagner. "My main objective is to learn and gain experience with a professional race team. During this season I'm responsible for the tire management."
While being responsible for tires may not seem like a big job to someone not involved with a race effort, remember that SpeedSource campaigns anywhere from six to eight Porsches at each race. Tire management for those six to eight cars can include keeping track of nearly one hundred tires a weekend.
"The job is fairly challenging on a professional team of that size and requires that you to be organized," continued Wagner. "I evaluate tire wear and setups with each of the Crew Chiefs and make sure the cars have fresh rubber when required."
"For the engineering students, they get to be right in the action," explained Crew Chief and driver David Haskell, the 2001 GSII Rising Star. "Our engineering students actually get to go over the wall and perform in the actual pitstops during the race. That is as hands on and high pressure of a situation as you can get."
"During pit stops I'm the jack man on the second team pit crew," added Wagner of his role during the three hour Grand Am Cup races. "This is exhausting work but it's great fun to be part of a high-class team and travel to new tracks.
"If all goes as planned I will graduate in December with a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on Motorsports."
The series has become very well known as a place where star drivers have gotten their start in racing, such as SpeedSource drivers Tremblay and Haskell. Much less publicized, but no less important, has been the role that the series has played in the past, and with SpeedSource's efforts, will continue to play in the future of molding the young engineers of today to grow into the leaders of the future.
SpeedSource travels with the Grand-Am Cup next to Watkins Glen International for the Sports Car Grand Prix, June 21-23.