Home' Supercar Xtra : Aug Sep 2018 Issue 106 Contents 78 SUPERCARXTRA
“Then in the engines they brought in the ESD, which
is the Engine Specification Document.
“It meant we needed to get things the same, we
couldn’t afford to have four or five different specs. If you
had a different oil pump on that motor and a different
sump here for whatever reason, then you had a different
document. So over time you want to make your stuff
the same, just so paperwork-wise and logistically you
could keep control.
“Today it’s more about maintaining the engines to
their maximum power limit, where back in the day you
were always trying to make more power. You sort of
can’t do that now.
“It’s more about a good maintenance and keeping
the engines at their peak and evolving. Working on the
curve to try and get the right power for the track and
the weather, but you’ve got to stay below the maximum
Which kind of made the V6 program exciting. It was
new, different and challenging. You get a sense talking
to McNamara that Holden taking a step or two back
on this engine was a little deflating. The challenge was
there, he wanted to embrace it.
“A lot of the guys were keen. I enjoy the V8 stuff, but
a lot of the younger guys, their forte is turbo and that
whole thing,” he says.
“It was a really big project. It was a lot of work. It was a
lot of uncharted territory for lots of things. Generally we
have about 38-40 engines in rotation for all the teams,
but they’re all the same specs.
“So to have a different engine where you’ve got to
think out of the square a little bit, try some different
things was great.
“There was definitely a lot of hard work, but I think at
the same time it also added to their jobs.
“As a business running V8s and V6s wasn’t going to be
an issue. We do 60 or 70 sprint-car motors a year now
in the same building with two different other engine
builders and the same machine shop. So we already do
different engines now.
“I think there would be a transition period of 12
months or more to get all the process and procedures
right, but we’d be fine.
“When you’re developing an engine there’s a lot more
dyno work than track work, there’s a lot more engine
stripping because you’ve got to find the weak links and
stuff with the motor.
“The guys would have to be under a bit of pressure to
get there but I think they were up for it.
“Then once you’ve got a spec you’d have dedicated
engine builders on the V6 and others on the V8, so that
would still work.”
Unlike some of the team owners, he’d like to see the
engine race, although he understands the nerves around
costs and the like. Today, there is certainty. With a new
V6 there that may not be the case. How reliable would
they be? How many kilometres between rebuilds? And
how would the crowds react?
Landing with Triple Eight, which is now the factory
Holden team, allowed that development work to take
place and much more over time.
“I’ve been lucky enough over the years to work with
some good teams like Stones, Larkham and then Triple
Eight,” he says.
“I think Roland with his experience and guidance has
helped my business grow to where it is from watching
how they operate in a professional manner and how he
runs his race team.
“You know what level of expectation you have to
deliver and that’s helped to teach me, that’s what you
have to do with an engine business.
“You can’t slack off and not do the right thing. You
always got to be thinking, ‘I’m gonna do that’ before they
even ask you. You want to be ahead of what they want.
But working with them has been definitely a good thing.
“I’m lucky to have been involved with those good
teams and have those results. I look back over the years
and say there probably aren’t too many boxes left to
tick, so you just keep on going and enjoying what you
are doing and try to be the best.
“I’ve only missed seven races in 21 years and I go to
the track hoping not to be busy. If I’m busy they’re nor-
mally in trouble because there’s something wrong with
the engine. So hopefully I walk around and keep the
engines tuned and work on the fuel economy.
“I want all my customers to go well. If one team wins
and one car stops, then I feel we’ve had a bad weekend
because the customer’s had a problem with the motor –
like with the broken rocker last year for Lee Holdsworth.
“As long as they’re all going well and as a business,
and job satisfaction, then you feel you’ve had a good
ABOVE: KRE Engines
supplies both Triple Eight
Race Engineering and Brad
z_SX106 p76-78 Engines.indd 78
24/7/18 8:48 am
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