Car, Driver, Engine - Eliminate Any Two!

Car, Driver, Engine - Eliminate Two!
By Don Terrill (c)2006

While talking to teams contemplating a move to the next level, I always give the same advice "you've got three variables: the Car, the Driver and the Engine - You need to eliminate ANY two as potential problems before you show up for your first race."

In other words, if your driver is of unknown quality, you'd better have a good car and engine. Likewise for an unknown engine or chassis.

Results from NOT eliminating two:
  • Prolonged tuning - The time required to sort out a car goes up exponentially when you have to focus on more than one area of the equation. Can you imagine showing up at a new track with question marks on the car, driver and engine? You'd have to be the luckiest person on the planet to run well.
  • Finger pointing - The chassis building blames the engine builder, the engine builder blames the chassis builder and the driver blames everybody. Not a pleasant situation to say the least.
How to Eliminate Question Marks:

The car:
  • Buy one of known quality - The best choice is buying one with a proven history of winning. Buying a new chassis, no matter how good the builder, still leaves a question.
The driver:
  • Hire the best driver in the class
  • Let someone else hop in the car
  • Find another ride for your driver
The engine:
  • Buy one of known quality
  • Dyno test
  • Try another engine
Maybe it's because I'm an engine builder, but I believe the engine is the easiest to eliminate - it's easy to qualify - just dyno it. The driver and chassis have no such definitive test. For me, there really is no excuse for showing up at the track with an unknown engine.

Think I'm out to lunch? Fine, write your own article