The beauty of a blog is that I can share some of the efforts we are taking to maintain cost effective racing.
Rumors are amazing in that they can fuel our mind to create a narrative that becomes fact even if word of mouth, the finishing order or how much better someone comes out of a turn are the only ‘facts’ we have. We look right past a driver’s known ability and the likelihood that they had their setup nailed. This is how our brains are wired. A fact that I remind racers to not look past; That Briggs & Stratton 206 engines out of the box are still winning races in our 9th year of competition.
Racing is a sport where snake oil, pixy dust, and one’s ‘attention to the details’ are pitched for profit. Looking past the sales pitches we use testing as our foundation. Being the largest small engine manufacturer in the world is having an arsenal of technology at our disposal that even George Jetson would be jealous of.
What the industry, including our dealers, didn’t know until now is that we actively buy engines and components to test and analyze from the field through third party buyers. When a customer sends off an engine to be set-up there is a possibility that this engine was power tested and from the curvature of the jet bowl ID to the height of the inlet nozzle to the intake port has been laser scanned and measured. Even engines that are we buy in the open market we have a recorded wealth of data, from the piston pop-up to cam profile to, well, trade secrets. J
What is important to take away is that we are incredibly active and to date we have yet to identify a power gain that has initiated a rule change. The small gains that we would expect to see, such as insuring your intake is aligned, carburetor is set up, valve lash optimized, and valve seal are the norm. These are the details that every racer can insure on their own but are also fair game for someone else to do. Our dealers specialize in this expertise and time is not an unlimited commodity in our day to day lives. I do not want to brush over the fact that we HAVE seen gains beyond our norm but specific and clear rules are already in place to identify with the proper training.
Proper training highlights the next step that we are taking in our continued pursuit to maintain cost-effective racing and a level playing field. This winter we will be debut an online curriculum that will allow for starting and continuing tech education with real time updates and answers. If someone ‘sees’ something going on we can alert the entire tech field what to look for. If there is a question that arises from something seen we can have a clear, precise response to insure consistency from track to track.
At the end of the day all the effort put into manufacturing of our engines and testing to insure a level playing field are for not if we don’t have educated individuals in place in the field to confirm it. As a leader in the sport we plan to continue improving our product and helping to create the environment where winning and losing come down to you.