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Jul 04, 2014 - 06:31 AM
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Emco Gears Continues Endurance-Race Success At The Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen
Posted by: newsla on Jul 04, 2014 - 06:27 AM
USCR News
Emco Gears Continues Endurance-Race Success At The Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen


Racing teams supplied and supported by EMCO Gears continued to lead the way in IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship endurance races at this past weekend’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

 

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Adding to its victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, and a third-place finish in March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida, Action Express Racing stayed “podium perfect” in IMSA TUDOR Championship endurance races after Watkins Glen with another third-place showing by João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Corvette Daytona Prototype.

Action Express is one of EMCO’s premier team partners and uses the all-American company’s gears and related componentry and assemblies on both the No. 5 and No. 9 Corvette Daytona Prototypes, as well as EMCO’s trackside technician program. The No. 9 backed up the No. 5’s top-three run at The Glen with a close fourth-place finish in the hands of drivers Burt and Brian Frisselle and Jon Fogarty.

EMCO Gears has been involved in North American sports car racing for over 30 years with its proven gearboxes but the all-American manufacturer offers much more than race and championship-winning transmissions. The Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring and The Glen Six Hour have been the first three of four endurance races in this year’s inaugural IMSA TUDOR Championship season and milestone races for EMCO as the Chicago-based company supplies a variety of technology and services for the Action Express Daytona Prototypes and other top competitors.

The No. 5 is the only TUDOR Championship Prototype team to have reached the podium in each of this year’s three endurance races to date. That success is reflected in the overall championship standings released officially today that show the No. 5 team, and Barbosa and Fittipaldi, just three points out of first place.

Just as significantly, the No. 5 has increased its lead in the IMSA Patrón Endurance Cup standings with only October’s season-ending Petit Le Mans left in the mini “championship in a championship.” After winning The Glen’s points-paying middle segment by strategically pitting in order to lead at the three-hour mark, the No. 5 squad has extended its Endurance Cup lead to five points, 31-26, over their No. 9 teammates.

“We depend on EMCO to deliver the power the engines develop to the race circuits in our Action Express Corvettes,” Barbosa said. “They are great partners for us as we race in the IMSA TUDOR Championship. We know when we take to the track EMCO has our backs. That’s one of the reasons we are leading the IMSA Patrón Endurance Cup standings.”

Other EMCO partner teams that shined at The Glen included the No. 31 Marsh Racing/Whelen Motorsports Corvette Daytona Prototype that matched its best finish of the year with a sixth-place result. Sebring winners Magnus Racing backed up that showing with a third-place GT Daytona (GTD) finish at The Glen with its No. 44 Porsche 911 GT America. SRT Motorsports also continued its endurance race success this year by placing both of its Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs on the podium at The Glen in the GTLM class, the only manufacturer in that division to have at least one car on the podium in each of the year’s endurance events.

“It was a good weekend with Action Express in third and fourth but also with Marsh Racing finishing in sixth,” said EMCO Gears Director of Racing Dan Cota. “The EMCO Gears equipped Corvette-bodied Coyote chassis of Action Express led several times and were clearly the fastest cars on the track in a hotly contested Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. If not for a little better luck on pit-stop strategy, the tables may have been turned toward another victory.”

Action Express is one of the first to take advantage of EMCO’s trackside service program, which assigns a fulltime and factory-trained technician to participating teams. The program includes any and all maintenance at either EMCO’s Indianapolis-based technical center or trackside at a test or race event. Action’s assigned technician was once again a fully integrated member of the team, with them from the onset of preliminary testing straight through the finish of the Sahlen’s Six Hours Sunday afternoon.

Cota gave full credit to EMCO’s technical staff for this season’s success in general and Watkins Glen in particular.

“Senior Technician Tom Walker and Technician Jarrod Miller did an excellent job,” Cota said. “Their race preparation of the EMCO Gears GA46-5.0 transaxles for the Action Express 5 and 9 cars, and the Marsh Racing 31, car was key to the great result.”

Designated the GA46-5.0, the EMCO gearbox used by Action Express and other top IMSA teams is designed to have a long cycle life so no major changes are needed to the transmission in a race of any length. The speed-gear section of the transmission is also of a cassette design, easily removable for pre-race inspection or quick repairs, neither of which was needed during the combined 36 hours of racing at Daytona and Sebring. The gearbox case and its components are cast or milled using superior-strength-graded aluminum as holding gears and bearings at their designed positioning is everything in transmission reliability, particularly on a track as fast as The Glen’s 3.4-mile Grand Prix road course.

EMCO technical components supplied to the Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototypes in total include not only gearboxes but also the manufacturer’s equally strong axle, Tripod axle and rack-and-pinion steering assemblies.

While the gearboxes and Chevrolet V8 engines combine for the potent drivetrain on the Action Express Corvettes, it was EMCO’s axles and in-house designed Tripod axle system that capably transferred the power to the track. A result of a long-term process of near misses, the Tripod axle is an onboard component that is a critical marriage between a three-point joint and the internal dimensioning of the housing. The combination keeps the various moving parts in and coming out of the gearbox from crashing into each other, a critical balance that must be maintained for hours on end in TUDOR Championship endurance races.

The final EMCO component used by Action Express is the company’s rack-and-pinion steering system. EMCO manufactures its steering system with the same attention to detail given to a precision set of gears or a critical axle assembly. A light-weight, billet-aluminum housing is engineered to correctly hold the rack and pinion at the designed mounting distance while quality gear geometry makes for a very smooth operating system.


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