Daytona Beach, FL (Feb. 11, 2003) Safety is paramount in all aspects and forms of auto racing. In recent years, much of the focus has been the driver compartment. In stock car racing, the customized seat has evolved into one of the biggest ...
Daytona Beach, FL (Feb. 11, 2003) Safety is paramount in all aspects and forms of auto racing. In recent years, much of the focus has been the driver compartment. In stock car racing, the customized seat has evolved into one of the biggest challenges for the True Value IROC team, particularly for the fabrication department.
What magnifies the issue for the team is not dealing with a customized seat, but dealing with 12 customized seats. The bare driver compartment is constructed with adaptability in mind and the mounting fixtures allow for a variety of seat configurations.
Fitting the driver has become one of the most time consuming tasks of race week. For race one at Daytona, a new field of drivers means a new pile of new seats and components. Without question, the fabrication team is at it's busiest of the entire season with initial fittings for each driver here at Daytona.
Sounds hectic? Well, lets step it up a notch . . . not only does the driver's seat and creature comforts have to be installed in one race car, but the entire assembly has to be documented, placed in a kit and ready to move from car to car, depending on which car the driver draws for each of the four races.
The next hurdle is installing the seat and fitting the driver within only a day, or two at most, before the green flag drops.
Dave Roerig, of the fabrication department said, "Over the last three years, the driver seat and fitting the driver has become critical. The sooner we can get the driver in a car for fit up the better, because the days of drivers hopping in the car and only wanting minor position adjustments are long gone. Every driver sits differently, some are up higher, some are lower, and at all different angles. The seats are very complicated and because the IROC cars are different, what works for the driver in his team car is not necessarily going to transfer to the IROC car. The site lines are different and configuration of the driver compartment is different so, it takes a bit more than just going off the notes the team may give you."
The True Value IROC team will return to the track this evening at approx. 5:45 p.m., which will mark the first run under the lights at Daytona for the IROC cars. IRL IndyCar Series drivers, Helio Castroneves, Sam Hornish and Felipe Giaffone are expected to take their first practice laps tonight.