Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bald Spot Sports Busy with New Dallara IndyCar

Updated: Dec 14, 2011 10:59 PM EST
By Richard Essex - bio

New Indy car means local jobs

INDIANAPOLIS - Travis Cobb is one of the owners of Bald Spot Sports. He also helps load trucks, works the assembly line, operates most of the machinery and does design work.

"Some last minute modifications to some designs," Cobb said. "It will be a late night, so it will be fun and exciting. That is why we are in the business."

Cobb is busy building seats for race cars, Indianapolis-made cars for the IndyCar series with design changes said to be safer for drivers. Cobb's business is one of 70 vendors building parts for the new Dallara cars, a project which is also creating jobs for central Indiana

"We've probably doubled our sales 2 to 3 times," said Cobb.

Race car parts are a staple for the company. The company is also making impact liners for football helmets, several of which are already being used by NFL players. Recently, the company has been asked to help develop a new line of child safety seats.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bald Spot Sports will Donate a new toy with every Creafoam Seat Kit order!

We're donating a toy with every seat kit order!
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, we’ll be donating a toy to Toys for Tots for every seat kit order placed now through Dec 22nd. Place your order today!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bald Spot Sports brings IndyCar technology coming to child safety seats

Updated: Nov 24, 2011 8:37 AM EST


The safety of an IndyCar could be coming to passenger vehicles.

Eyewitness News was recently granted exclusive access to high speed crash tests. Those tests are leading to some incredible innovations that will keep your children safer.

Tests involving child car seats show what can happen in a crash. The Dorel Juvenile Group, the largest manufacturer of child safety seats in United States, is in Columbus, and they're interested in making sure their youngest customers have the greatest chance of survival in the event of a wreck.

IndyCar fans have no doubt seen crashes where the driver smashes into a wall but gets out virtually unharmed. Dorel is working to bring the safety features that protect the driver to their child car seats.

Dorel found a partner in Bald Spot Sports, the company that supplied most of the drivers' seats in last Indianapolis 500. The secret is the foam along with some proprietary designs.

'We have had race car drivers absolutely go crazy already. They know this is coming and they are saying, 'Hey, you know, I want this for my kid now. I know what it takes to protect me. Get this out for me now,'" said Barry Mahal, Dorel.

That is exactly what is happening - a car seat as safe as an IndyCar driver's seat.

"It is very evident that if we can start to design out seats around some of the most violent crashes in the world then we will have a pretty good ability to keep your child safe," Mahal said.

In a car crash, there is likely to be more than one impact. Most car seats today are tested and designed to hold your child in place for that "one impact." But in reality the car seats need to protect a child against three or four devastating impacts while keeping the spine aligned and their head protected.

"With intrusion you have objects from other vehicles or another vehicle coming in on the occupant so this is all designed to keep that incoming part of the car or automobile away from the child," Mahal explained.

The seats have not gone into production yet. Dorel is anticipating a few "race car safe" child safety seats to be available in spring of 2012. A few prototypes maybe available sooner and there are already race car drivers lining up for those.

We'll keep you posted on the progress and tell you when the new seats are available in stores.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Miller: IndyCar Has 'Dodged Bullets'

updated: 10/24/2011 7:53:25 AM
Miller: IndyCar Has 'Dodged Bullets' Report

IndyCar officials and series drivers are slated to meet today in Indianapolis to discuss safety. The session will follow a weekend of services to honor Dan Wheldon, who died after a crash during the season-ending IndyCar event in Las Vegas. Longtime Motorsports Journalist Robin Miller says Indy-style racing has "dodged bullets for 15 years" on high-banked ovals like the venue in Vegas. He believes the series should return to ovals, which are better suited for open-wheel racing. Miller shared his thoughts on Wheldon and where IndyCar goes from here during a conversation with Inside INdiana Sports Contributor Bill Benner.

Today's drivers' meeting is not mandatory. Some will not be able to attend after taking part in the Gold Coast 600 over the weekend in Australia. Sebastien Bourdais won the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy as the top international driver in the event.

Wheldon's death is not the only tragedy marring global motorsports this month.

Motorcycle driver Marco Simoncelli died this weekend from injuries suffered in lap two of the Malaysian Grand Prix. reports officials ended up canceling the race.

Simoncelli had success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway winning the 250cc race in 2009. He finished 12th in this year's MotoGP and seventh in the 2010 event.

Source: Inside INdiana Business,

October 24, 2011

News Release

A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus on the death of MotoGP competitor Marco Simoncelli from injuries suffered in the Grand Prix of Malaysia on Sunday, Oct. 23:

�We are deeply saddened at the passing of Marco Simoncelli. He was one of the most charismatic figures in the World Championship and had a fantastic future ahead of him in MotoGP. Marco was one of the most popular riders at the MotoGP event at Indianapolis, as his talent on the motorcycle and his ability to connect with fans both were very special. We extend our sincere sympathies to his family, team and fans.�

Simoncelli, 24, from Italy, competed twice in the MotoGP class at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finishing seventh in 2010 and 12th in 2011. He won the 250cc race in 2009 at IMS. Simoncelli was the 2008 250cc World Champion.

Source: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another chance for Cunningham to shine Thursday, 13 October, 2011 - 11:17

This weekend's 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series final at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the United States will provide Kiwi driver Wade Cunningham with another chance to shine.

The 27-year-old former Firestone Indy Lights series champion finished seventh in only his second complete IndyCar race at the penultimate round of this year's IndyCar series in Kentucky a fortnight ago and heads to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a clear idea of what he would like to do in the final.

"The goals are still pretty simple," he said this week. "The first is to avoid trouble and the second is to finish the race. If we do those two things we know we have the potential for a top five finish because my team, Sam Schmidt Motorsports, has been competitive all year on these types of tracks.

"In terms of myself and the guys running the #17 car we need to improve our pit stops, because to be competitive with Ganassi (who Cunningham's compatriot and former series champion Scott Dixon drives for) and Penske we can't afford to leave anything on the table. But Kentucky was my first weekend working with the car's engineer so we are expecting to build from that and we believe we have all the ingredients to improve on our Kentucky result."

This weekend Cunningham will be flying the flag for sponsors Play Again, Air Ride Pallet, Creatherm, Bald Spot Sports and ALC, the group of backers who have enabled him to make his three round debut in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a 2.4km (1.5 mile) D-shaped oval similar in layout to the Kentucky Motor Speedway but with progressive banking up to a maximum of 20 degrees which is considerably more than Kentucky. Cunningham says he is also expecting the track surface to be smoother which he believes will produce more 'pack' racing than was seen at Kentucky.

As befits a season finale the grandly named World Championship presented by Honda meeting has attracted a bumper 34-car field made up of drivers representing 12 different countries.

The usual 20+ strong field has been supplemented this weekend by entries from the likes of former series regulars Tomas Scheckter from South Africa, and both Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracey from Canada

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Andretti Autosport hooks up with Chevrolet

By staff

Chevrolet will provide Andretti Autosport entries with its new IndyCar V-6 racing engine for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

The Andretti and Chevrolet brands were synonymous for many years in Indy car racing with Michael and Mario collectively scoring the most wins (20) for Chevrolet from 1987 to 1991. Michael recorded the most Chevrolet wins in a season when he scored eight victories on the way to winning the 1991 CART/PPG IndyCar World Series championship. Mario earned Chevrolet’s first Indy car victory at Long Beach in 1987.

“I am so excited to work with Chevy once again,” said Andretti, the third-winningest driver in Indy car history. “We won 15 races and a championship with Chevy in just three years. The 1991 season was magical. Now, Andretti Autosport and our sponsors have the opportunity to win again with Chevrolet. This will prove to be a tremendous association. Chevrolet is committed to motorsports and they are proven winners.”

Andretti Autosport has recorded 39 victories, including two Indianapolis 500 wins, and three driver championships since entering the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2003. Chevrolet has totaled 104 Indy car wins, including six series crowns and seven Indy 500 championships.

The 2012 Chevrolet IndyCar 2.2 liter, V-6 will have an aluminum block and cylinder heads, direct injection and twin-turbochargers.

“We are very proud to announce that Andretti Autosport is now part of the Chevrolet family and that they will compete with Chevy’s new twin-turbo V-6 beginning in 2012,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Michael and his family have won many races for Chevrolet and we intend to continue winning with our new partnership.

"We are anxious to have Andretti Autosport begin testing the 2012 engine in the near future.”

Engine manufacturers will commence on-track testing in earnest in early October. Teams are scheduled to take delivery of their first chassis in mid-December, and team testing will begin after the first of the year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bald Spot Sports Helps Racing Safety Legend Take On NFL Concussions

Bald Spot Sports is proud to be working with racing safety legend Bill Simpson as he takes on concussions in the NFL.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New car upgrades driver protection

By Dave Lewandowski

During its annual preseason meeting two years ago, INDYCAR safety consultant Dr. Terry Trammel singled out Justin Wilson as a driver susceptible to high vertical G force loads upon impact because of his height and the design of the IZOD IndyCar Series car that came online in 2003.

“Unfortunately, he proved us right in a field study,” Trammel said of the 6-3 Wilson, who suffered a compression fracture of the T5 vertebra in a single-car incident at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course earlier this month.

Fortunately, upgrades incorporated into the 2012 IndyCar, based on recommendations by INDYCAR through its ongoing testing program, will increase the protection of drivers.

The cockpit is longer and wider than the current Dallara Automobili monocoque, which allows for additional padding to protect the driver upon impact. There is 3 inches of Expanded Polypropylene foam behind the driver’s seat and 1.5 inches under the seat. Also, a “floating headrest” works in conjunction with the mandatory HANS device attached to the helmet.

“What that means is that before the driver ever pours his custom fit seat they will already have an inch and a half of material that will protect them in a vertical load situation, which is what Justin Wilson went through at Mid-Ohio,” INDYCAR director of engineering Jeff Horton said. “Because of his height and the design of that car, he actually has nothing underneath him. He basically sits right on the floor so all the load that the chassis saw was transmitted to straight up his spine.

“With the foam in the new car, it potentially should prevent most of those types of injuries. In addition, we designed in 3 inches off EPP on the back of the car. Again, before a driver ever pours his custom fit seat he’s got 3 inches of protection, which our data shows will prevent most injuries.”

The wider chassis, updated to the FIA cockpit opening (21.6 inches) provides for extra foam along the sides of the driver that will protect them in a lateral impact. The additions complement the Zylon panels, which were extended, that are attached to the sides of the chassis that help prevent punctures.

“The car also has been made a little bit longer in that area so that a tall driver can be incorporated and not give up safety systems,” Horton noted. “On the current car, our tall drivers have to compromise something at the rear to fit in the car and get the pedals adjusted comfortably – they actually move them all the way forward. In this current car, the driver should be in a normal seating position.

“The headrest has been redesigned on our recommendations as well, with the addition of a thicker cross-section where the helmet will hit in a rearward accident. The current car (designed a decade ago) came about before the HANS was mandatory so to get the HANS to fit correctly we had to take some material out of the current headrest; that’s been put back into this car.”

According to Horton, Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) is the preferred material for the seat bottom/back and headrest over Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) because of its higher compressive strength. EPP is formed by individual plastic beads being injected into a steam chest mold, where the beads are fused under steam heat and pressure to form a semi-rigid and lightweight molded product.

“The nice part of the EPP foam is that it doesn’t have any glue in it,” he said, “so it’s considered a multi-hit foam. EPS deforms permanently because of the glue in it. You have to think of things like crew members and drivers climbing in and out of the cockpit and they put their foot on it. The EPS could be deformed and not perform properly in an accident.”

Trammel and Horton have advocated driver seats to be constructed solely of EPP, which would further increase protection. EPS seats are formed by mixing beads and glue, put it in a plastic bag and have the driver sit on it for a mold. After it dries, it’s covered with a fire-retardant material.

“It’s up to our standards, but the thing is it’s a one-hit seat,” Horton said. “The glue in the beads will deform permanently when impacted hard.”

Creating an EPP seat takes a few more steps – an EPS seat if formed, scanned and then machined out of an EPP block. Combined with the added EPP foam in the bottom, back and headrest, protection has been significantly increased.

“If a driver happens to take multiple hits in a single accident, like Simona (de Silvestro) at Milwaukee, the 3 inches of material will protect them much better than the current car,” Horton said.

INDYCAR, using sled testing with its crash test dummy THOR, will focus next on improvements in frontal impact safety.

“We’ve been very lucky in this series that our tubs and chassis have been very safe,” Horton added. “We’ve been able to nitpick at stuff like the headrest design, and this new car incorporates what we learned in seating. In IndyCar, some of our big injuries have been in frontal. We’ve done one round of sled testing and learned a great deal. Once we learn and validate more that can be of benefit, it will be incorporated in this car.”

Saturday, June 04, 2011

NY TIMES Article Regarding our work with Child Safety Seats

Wheels - The Nuts and Bolts of Whatever Moves You

June 3, 2011, 11:31 am
Child Safety Seats With a Racing Pedigree

A prototype of the Dorel safety seat, which employs foam technology commonly found in IndyCar racecar seats.Dorel Juvenile GroupA prototype of the Dorel safety seat, which employs foam technology commonly found in IndyCar racecar seats.

You have to wonder why nobody thought of this before.

Watching IndyCar drivers walk away from 200 m.p.h. crashes, executives at Dorel, the child car seat manufacturer, asked whether the technologies that protected racecar drivers in crashes could be applied to child safety seats.

A collaboration with an IndyCar supplier is bearing out answers. Dorel is developing seats that use a proprietary foam used in IndyCar seats called expanded polypropylene, or E.P.P., which is proven to be more resilient and shock absorbent than other foams.

E.P.P. is one of only two foams approved for use in IndyCar seats, and it is the one that is preferred, said Jeff Horton, director of engineering for the Indy Racing League, the body responsible for safety research. “We promote the E.P.P. 100 percent,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s the best crash absorption we have.”

The foam’s function in crashes is twofold. Many foams compress only in the spot where pressure is applied, while others spread the impact but crush down and cannot spring back. E.P.P., developed for seat applications by Bald Spot Sports, the sole manufacturer and supplier of E.P.P. seats to IndyCar, spreads impact throughout the foam, so pressure in a single spot is absorbed in the neighboring foam as well.

Secondly, the foam springs back, ready for additional impact. “It’s great for multihit situations,” Mr. Horton said.

“We tested probably 30 types of material, and when we got down to the type of material, we tested different density,” said Travis Cobb, a partner in Bald Spot Sports. “We crashed a lot of cars.”

The E.P.P. also provides a bonus for fatigued parents. Because E.P.P. does not require a resin glue to lock the foam molecules in place, the foam weighs less than other varieties, said Mr. Horton, who has been privy to the development of the Dorel prototypes. “I’ve seen the baby seats, and they are very light,” he said.

Dorel was in the news more recently for a recall of 800,000 child seats for a condition where the harnesses may loosen. No injuries have been attributed to the harness issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which prompted the recall, said at the time, “Dorel doesn’t have a disproportionate number of recalls.”

The E.P.P. seats are still in development and will become available in 2012, said Barry Mahal, the executive vice president of child restraint systems for the Dorel Juvenile Group.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Companies work with racing technology to improve child safety seats


The same technology that saved IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro from serious injury in a recent crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway might soon be helping protect children in car seats.

Dorel Juvenile Group, a car-seat manufacturer, is partnering with racing-product developers at Bald Spot Sports to use cockpit material that insulates racers from crashes in child-safety technology. Dorel makes child-safety items under brand names such as Safety 1st and Cosco. Bald Spot Sports has produced materials for IndyCar and NASCAR use.

Dorel and Bald Spot are looking to improve child safety seats by using the same materials that cocooned Silvestro in the cockpit and protected other racers in 200-mph crashes.

About 80 percent of IndyCar drivers and those on other professional circuits such as NASCAR are using the foam technology the companies want to adopt.

According to Dorel, preliminary tests show the molding process and absorption of the material--combined with the geometrical shape it assumes when applied in child seats--allows side impact to be directed away from the child in unprecedented ways. It is a different type of foam technology than what is currently used in safety seats, with more flexible and complex properties.

"For years, we have been helping professional racers manage the risk that comes with the speed and adrenaline rush of their profession," said Travis Cobb, partner with Bald Spot Sports. "We are excited to explore how we can bring this technology to protecting kids every day."

The product is still in development and it is not clear when it will be available. Research for the project is under way at Dorel's car-seat manufacturing campus in Columbus, Ind. Bald Spot is headquartered nearby, in Indianapolis.

Read more:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bald Spot Sports Takes Front Row at Indianapolis 500 Announces Qualifiers Racing in BSS Custom Race Seats

Brownsburg, Indiana – May 2011 – Bald Spot Sports, LLC, [BSS] announced that 26 out of the 33 drivers who qualified for the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 will be driving in BSS custom foam bead race seats when they start their engines Sunday.

BSS manufactures two different custom seat products to absorb impact forces before they act on the body of a racecar driver during a collision. Seats are manufactured using technology exclusive to BSS and molded from two new specialty foams, CreafoamTM and ARPROTM.

CreafoamTM seats, which offer greater proven force deadening properties than a standard generic expanded polystyrene seat offered by many of the competitors, are designed to absorb the forces acting on the driver during a single impact.

ARPROTM foam seats, which have greater elasticity, absorb impact and return to the initial shape with greater integrity. Areas can be carved out of the neck and back areas of the elastic seat to create room for foam stability plugs to be inserted. The CreafoamTM plugs, when inserted, are designed to offer maximum stability and force deadening during a single impact. These seats can offer greater support for the driver during secondary impacts continuing to act on the car after the primary collision. The entire front row of the 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 owns ARPROTM multi-impact race seats.

About Bald Spot Sports

Bald Spot Sports [BSS] is headquartered in the suburbs of the racing capital of Indianapolis, Indiana.

BSS is actively engaged in the production of technologically superior racing seats, head surrounds and helmet liners for professional auto racers and private enthusiasts and continually works with independent labs to test innovative foam products.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bald Spot Sports & Dorel Partner in Joint Research Venture To Develop New, Safer Materials For Child Car Seats

Dorel to use racing tech in child car seats

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MONTREAL -- Dorel Industries Inc. is looking to rev up its business with new child car seats that use impact-absorbing materials and technology borrowed from the world of professional race-car driving.

Montreal-based Dorel is partnering with racing gear provider Bald Spot Sports of Indiana in a joint research venture to develop new, safer configurations and materials for child car seats.

The companies will research materials and designs similar to those used in Formula 1 and IndyCar cockpit crash protection, according to an announcement expected to be made today at Dorel's annual meeting.

Dorel could use some new-product development to help boost its performance.

It posted an 18-per-cent drop in first-quarter profit earlier this month, missing analysts' expectations in a still-difficult retail environment made worse by rising gasoline and food prices that have hit consumers' pocketbooks.

The company operates in three key consumer segments: bicycles, juvenile products and home furnishings. The bicycle business did well in the first quarter but that was offset by a "challenging retail environment" for the U.S. juvenile products division, Dorel chief executive officer Martin Schwartz said about the results.

The car-seat safety research is to be conducted at Dorel subsidiary Dorel Juvenile Group USA's new technical centre for child safety located at its car-seat manufacturing facility in Columbus, Ind.

Engineers from Dorel Juvenile will draw on Bald Spot's motorsport safety research and development to figure out the best way to integrate the company's proprietary technology and race-car cockpit crash materials into child car seats, according to Dorel.

Bald Spot makes seats for professional race car drivers and enthusiasts. It uses a specially designed foam material that surrounds the driver and holds him or her in place during impact, thus reducing the likelihood of injury.

Among Bald Spot products users are IndyCar and NASCAR Nationwide motorsport drivers.

Of particular interest to Dorel is the potential for Bald Spot's foam material to absorb side-impact forces, the company said.

Dorel, the world's largest maker of children's car seats, has also been taking steps to expand outside North America.

The company's juvenile brands include Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi, Quinny and Lux.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bald Spot Sports is proud to sponsor Scott Dixon's The Big Finish Indianapolis 500 Party

Bald Spot Sports is proud to help sponsor our good friend Scott Dixon and fellow IZOD INDY CAR Drivers and BSS customers Dan Wheldon, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Justin Wilson for their "The Big Finish" Indy 500 after party on May 29th from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Sensu, 225 S. Meridian St.
Sounds by DJs Indiana Jones, Lockstar & Gabby Love.
$10 (317) 536-0036 or or

Monday, May 16, 2011

Purdue, HVM Racing Team Up

May 16, 2011

News Release

Purdue University and HVM Racing announced a strategic partnership during Saturday's (May 14) opening-day festivities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The HVM-Purdue relationship will bring to the HVM team advanced engineering technologies in aerodynamics, manufacturing and advanced materials, providing opportunities for Purdue students and faculty to participate in motorsports with HVM.

"HVM Racing is one of IndyCar's leading competitors with 2010 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year driver Simona de Silvestro and one of the premier teams in the IZOD IndyCar Series," said James Caruthers, Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, who is leading the Purdue part of the collaboration. "Partnering with HVM will allow Purdue students to participate in the development of the cutting-edge technology that is at the heart of IndyCar racing."

Keith Wiggins, president of HVM Racing, said, "This relationship with Purdue enables HVM to work with one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S. to exploit the latest technological innovations in aerodynamics, advance materials and manufacturing, as well as being able to interact with bright, fresh-thinking Purdue students in a variety of ways for the future."

"The Purdue-HVM partnership is an exciting way for Purdue University to actively engage the motorsports industry in Indiana - an industry that provides more than $4 billion per year to Indiana's economy," said Vic Lechtenberg, the university's vice provost for engagement.

Officials announced on Saturday that:

* Purdue's name will be displayed on the HVM IndyCar.

* Purdue engineering students will work this year as interns on the HVM team.

* HVM will collaborate with Purdue students and faculty to optimize the aerodynamic package for the new 2012 Indy cars that are being developed by Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara Automobili.
Electric motorsports are a key component of the HVM-Purdue partnership. Purdue held the Collegiate evGrandPrix on May 7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. College teams from across the nation and Europe designed, built and raced electric go-karts in the 100-lap event.

"HVM and Purdue are working on the next steps of electric motorsports, steps that will lead to electric race cars that can go 200 plus miles per hour," Caruthers said.
The major sponsor of HVM Racing is Entergy Corp., a producer of electrical power with a focus on clean energy technology and nuclear power generation.

A key component of the partnership is to develop educational programs for children, young adults and the public that uses the excitement of IndyCar racing as the starting point for the introduction of engineering and science. Of particular interest is to use electric motorsports as a venue to engage students and adults in a discussion on the technologies needed for economic, green and sustainable electric energy in the 21st century.
Technical education is a key objective of the HVM-Purdue partnership.

"Our objectives are, first, use the 'cool' of IndyCar racing to attract students' attention, and then introduce the students to the incredible engineering required in these race cars," Caruthers said. "Finally, we want to encourage interested students to consider a career in engineering or technology. If these students choose a career in motorsports, great! If they choose a technology career in some other industry, great! And even if the students choose a non-technical career but have a greater appreciation of technology, that is also great!"

Imran Safiulla, partner at HVM, states, �this is a unique opportunity where a top-ranked technical university, an IndyCar team and one of the nation�s largest energy producers are not only working toward a more competitive Indy race car, but where the team will also use the unique platform of IndyCar racing to bring awareness to a clean, reliable and efficient energy source, while encouraging young people to consider a technical career in order to address the challenges of the future.�

Source: Purdue University

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nice article regarding Dallara and the upcoming IndyCar Chassis

The Little-Known Racing Legend Underneath the Logos

VARANO DE' MELEGARI, ITALY — On some weekends, when the motor racing world is in full rev, as many as 300 racecars made by one Italian company can be seen speeding along famous racetracks around the world, from the Indianapolis Speedway to Macao.

Yet to motor racing outsiders, the name Dallara, the chassis maker, is unlikely to ring many bells. One specialist magazine recently described the company as “the world’s most successful yet understated racing car builder.”

“We prefer to let the facts speak for themselves,” said Andrea Pontremoli, chief executive and general manager of Dallara. “If we win races we’re good.” He paused. “And we win a lot of races.”

The chassis of a racecar tends to go unnoticed under the logos and brand names blazoned on the bodywork by sponsors. Yet the chassis “is the foundation for everything,” said Arturo Rizzoli, a journalist for “Autosprint,” an Italian magazine that follows motor racing. “It is the key” to making a winning racecar.

In Formula One — the pinnacle of auto racing and also the richest series — each of the 12 teams is now required to build its own chassis. But most other series, from karting to the lower formulas that feed Formula One, buy chassis from companies like Dallara. Such series exist in dozens of countries around the world at both international and national levels. They usually make their money from corporate sponsorship, private investors and rich enthusiasts.

It is in several of the lower series that Dallara has increasingly dominated the competition.

Dallara, for example, is the single chassis maker for the GP2 series, considered the final step on the ladder leading to Formula One. Starting in 2012, it will provide the chassis for all GP3 cars, a newer series that is also a Formula One support race.

By Mr. Pontremoli’s calculations, 196 of the 200 cars that race in Formula Three, considered two steps down from Formula One, are manufactured by Dallara.

Dallara cars also race in the World Series by Renault, Grand-Am, the North American series and the German junior series Formel Master — more series used as stepping stones to the higher levels and ultimately to Formula One.

The company’s design consulting business, which brings in 40 percent of revenue, even extends into the rarefied reaches of Formula One racing, where the company last year provided the chassis to the Hispania team before the new rules required a team to build its own chassis. Dallara is still involved in the series, “but we can’t say what we do or for whom,” Mr. Pontremoli said with a smile.

Last summer, Dallara scored a coup by beating out other manufacturers to build the new 2012 car for the Izod IndyCar Series, the premier level of American formula racing that opened its season last month. The company will build the undercarriage and the safety cell, where the driver sits. The bodywork dressing the cars will be provided by various manufacturers, including Chevrolet and Lotus, as well as Dallara.

Using a single chassis maker like Dallara makes the cars more economically viable for teams and increases competition. When all teams use the same chassis company, they all pay the same price for the chassis, so richer teams cannot buy their way to victory. And instead of the speed difference between teams coming mostly from the chassis — as in Formula One — it comes mostly from the skill of the driver.

The chassis — which includes everything but the driver’s seat — will cost $349,000.

A news release to announce the choice of Dallara last year for Izod estimated that the price was a 45 percent decrease from the cost of the cars racing in 2010-11, no small saving for teams.

The contract will also swell the company’s revenue, which this year hovers at €32 million, or $46 million. Next year, when Dallara will build both the new IndyCar and the new GP3 chassis, revenue will top €56 million. The privately held company does not disclose profit figures; all profits are reinvested in innovation and technology, Mr. Pontremoli said.

Much of that investment goes to preserving a key competitive advantage: safety.

The company has an excellent reputation for building cars that protect the driver. A video in the front hall of headquarters shows a loop of car crashes in Dallara vehicles from which the drivers walk away.

Mr. Pontremoli may be co-chief here, but his first considerations during an interview in Dallara’s unassuming headquarters about 30 kilometers, or 20 miles, southwest of Parma, were of praise for the company’s founder and president.

“This business emerged from the genius of Gian Paolo Dallara, who still puts in a 12-hour day, even though he’s 74, ” Mr. Pontremoli said. “He’s a volcano.”

Mr. Dallara set up his own chassis-making shop here in 1972, fresh from experiences at Ferrari and Lamborghini (where he worked on the Lamborghini Miura, a sports car produced from 1966 to 1972-3 that aficionados speak of with awe).

At Dallara headquarters, rows of locked offices guard the closely held design secrets of various manufacturers including Ferrari, Maserati, Audi, and Bugatti. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport — the fastest road-legal car in the world, with a top speed of 431.07 kilometers per hour, or 267.85 miles per hour — was designed with research and development input from Dallara.

Engineers work with only one manufacturer and doors — and mouths — are tightly shut.

Separate entrances to the facility ensure privacy, and only Mr. Pontremoli has open access. “And that’s only because I don’t understand the engineering part of it,” he said, grinning. Before he arrived at Dallara in 2007, he was chief executive of I.B.M. Italy; he went to work at a company that builds racing cars “to pursue a dream,” he said.

At its facility, Dallara has two wind tunnels, and last December it inaugurated a new, €10 million lap-time simulator, which reproduces various motor, road and environmental conditions, allowing engineers to shave weeks off the design of new, faster cars. Tweaks to a prototype are now executed virtually, on a computer, and the costly mold casts of the past are no longer necessary.

“Today a car can be designed in nine months, of which eight are virtual. In the past, the same car would take four or five years to develop,” said Mr. Pontremoli. He concurred that the simulator — a giant sputniklike structure that sits in the center of a large room lined with windows where engineers monitor the movements — was a “little sci-fi.”

The hardware for the simulator can be adapted to different drivers’ needs to improve performance, said Federico Nenci, of Dallara’s commercial department, who described it as an efficient, and extremely cost-effective, tool.

To support and consolidate its new presence in U.S. racing, Dallara is opening a new engineering center on the main street of Speedway, Indiana, the township that houses the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Costing between $8 million and $10 million, the center, which is within walking distance of the track, is scheduled to open in November.

The facility will also feature an entertainment center, including a simulator to allow fans to experience the thrills and chills of motor racing.

Dallara’s presence “will have a big impact,” at Speedway, said Randy Bernard, the chief executive of IndyCar. “First and foremost it will create jobs, and then it’s a good showcase for cars being built in the United States. And it will boost fan experience in the United States.”

Scott Harris, executive director of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission, which is supervising a multimillion-dollar makeover of the track and town, said he hoped Dallara’s presence would become a sort of lure to “attract other motor sports designers and components designers to the area.”

Last year, the Speedway nearly topped a million visitors and, with 300,000 spectators, officials claim that the Indy500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. American racing “is a different world,” Mr. Dallara said. “There’s more spectacle, more attention to the public.”

Mr. Pontremoli put it more colloquially: “It’s all about crash and conflict.”

In Europe, instead, “racing is seen as a technical challenge between big car makers,” Mr. Dallara said. “From the entertainment point of view, it’s pretty modest. European racing could learn a lot” from the Americans.

Mr. Dallara is excited by the prospect of branching out into the United States, but his vision for expansion is grounded.

“We don’t want to be too big. We’d rather be good in our specialized niche,” he said. “We want to know that we’re the best doing what we know how to do.”

Brad Spurgeon contributed reporting from Kuala Lumpur.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Winslow on the pace in St Petersburg

Indianapolis, IN, 2nd April, 2011 - James Winslow showed great pace throughout his debut weekend for Andretti Autosport at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg but, through no fault of his own, a damaged front wing prevented the result his performance deserved.

Winslow arrived in Florida having not yet sat in the car he would be using around the St Petersburg track, but that factor was almost negated as he methodically set about learning the new Andretti Autosport car and team, all whilst readying himself for Sunday's race.

An eventful start to the race saw Winslow suffer front wing damage, and he was forced to pit as a result. which inevitably forced him down the running order.

The young Briton came back fighting, and delivered a number of stunning lap times on his way to a top ten finish.

In the build-up to the weekend, Winslow's mind was set further up the field come the chequered flag, but fate worked against him, and the front wing damage forced his trip down pit road.

The incident only served to further Winslow's desire to show well, and an extremely determined Winslow left the pits after the repairs, and went about setting some very fast sector and lap times as he worked his way to tenth place at the flag.

"I wanted to be a lot higher up! Sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time," exclaimed Winslow, adding "My race pace was good, the car felt great, and I know we could have been so much higher than we were."

Throughout all of the weekend's sessions Winslow was fast on-track, which itself was no mean feat considering that he was setting very good times in his first weekend in the car, and whilst still adapting the car's setup to suit his own driving style.

"The team were great! Everyone at Andretti Autosport has been amazing, and even though we only had a short time to get the car ready, we all worked very well together to deliver a very fast car," said James.

For more information, photos and live updates you can follow James on Facebook ( or, on Twitter (

A new-for-2011 James Winslow Racing website is almost live. The new design, with all the latest news will soon be online at



Photos & Images
First Image Caption:
"James Winslow Agrees Deal with Andretti Autosport"

Media Resources
High resolution images and additional media resources available from: Winslow_on_the_pace_in_St_Petersburg/Resources/

About James
James Winslow is one of Britain's most talented racing drivers, having vast experience in many series the world over. James has enjoyed success in many series, having claimed Championship titles in Asian Formula 3, Formula Renault V6 and Australian Formula 3. He has represented Team Great Britain in the A1GP series, in addition to being a well liked and respected driving coach.

About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis, Andretti Autosport is led by the legendary figure of Mario Andretti. The team has an extremely healthy pedigree, having claimed three IZOD IndyCar Series championship titles, two Firestone Indy Lights titles and two victories in the world-famous Indianapolis 500 during it's history. Andretti Autosport currently fields cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Firestone Indy Lights and the US F2000 championship.

About Firestone Indy Lights
The "Road to Indy", the Firestone Indy Lights, is a direct feeder series to the IZOD IndyCar Series, the pinnacle of of single seater racing based primarily in North America. Following the same race schedule as that of IndyCar, the Indy Lights take in some of the most iconic circuits around North America, as well as a trip to Motegi in Japan. The VERSUS channel will present full season coverage of the Indy Lights series, which will also benefit from extensive coverage the world over via television, radio, print and Internet media.

Contact James
E-Mail: /
Cell: +1 317 442 1229
Facebook Profile:
Facebook Page:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Building safer seats for Indy racer

We found this old article from a 2004 edition of Machine Design. Since then we now do all our own Laser Scanning and Engineering in house.

February 5, 2004

Sherri Carmody

Laser scanning lets a pair of companies create protective seats for Indy cars and other racing vehicles in a much faster and efficient new way.

A laser scanner creates CAD files that perfectly duplicate a seat's shape.
A laser scanner creates CAD files that perfectly duplicate a seat's shape.
A laser scanner creates CAD files that perfectly duplicate a seat's shape.

Rules require IRL drivers use cocoonlike seats that protect them during 220-mph crashes. The seats are made from beaded foam that absorbs forces before they hit the driver. In the past, drivers would sit on a bag filled with expanded polystyrene beads and resin to create an exact imprint of them in their most comfortable driving position. The entire process took at least 20 hr. And every time a car is in an accident or a driver switches cars, a new seat must be created.

The new seat-construction technique devised by Createc Corp., ( and Bald Spot Sports, (, both in Indianapolis, relies on laser scanning and CAD software. In effect, the technique generates a three-dimensional blueprint of a race seat that fits a driver and can be used repeatedly.

Technicians use a portable laser scanner to create a CAD file that duplicates the seat shape. If the driver already has a preferred seat, a fitting is not required at all. Instead, the seat itself is scanned to produce the CAD file. The file generates inputs for a CNC program that directs a machine center to carve the seat out of a single block of Creasorb, a multiple impact foam from Createc. It is a lightweight, closed-cell foam that resists impacts better than currently used seat materials, thus eliminating the need for replacement after minor impacts. It also has superior shock absorption, withstands multiple impacts, and resists most of the chemicals and solvents used in racing.

After deciding to use laser scanning, Createc and Bald Spot Sports considered purchasing a laser-scanning system but it didn't make sense at the early stages of the project. "Laser-scanning technology is rapidly improving, and we were concerned that our lack of experience might lead us to a purchase that we would regret later," says Cameron Cobb, business development manager for Createc. "We looked for a service bureau that could guide us through the process while providing the levels of accuracy and fast turnaround we need. Unfortunately, our first few attempts in working with service bureaus were not very successful due to their lack of responsiveness. However, the first time we contacted Laser Design in Minneapolis, they demonstrated they had all the capabilities we needed and were totally dedicated to our success."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cunningham confirmed as IndyCar driver

Published: 3:58PM Friday February 18, 2011 Source: ONE Sport

Wade Cunningham has been confirmed as just the second New Zealander to race in the IndyCar series.

Ironically he hails from Mount Wellington Car club, the same club that produced Scott Dixon.

He will do four races this season with Sam Schmidts Motorsports, all on oval tracks.

Cunningham will now try to break the mold of being just an Indy Light driver

"Sam (Sam Schmidts Motorsports) wants me and believes in me. Sam is my best shot moving forward," he told ONE Sport.

He wanted to drive in the Indy500 this year, but the cost to enter the race was too much, so Cunningham decided it would be more wise to enter four regular events.

If he does well in the four races he may be able to race the full programme next year.

He's setting his sights high, and wants to prove his worth and take the opportunity he's been given with Sam Schmidts Motorsports.

"If we (the team) could break into the top 10 a couple of times I would be happy," he said.

"I want to qualify in the top 14 every week"

And all along the way there's been Scott Dixon, a legend of Kiwi motorsport now.

"Scott does everything he can for me but racing comes down to dollars and cents and he's not writing the cheques for me," Cunningham said.

Nice article about what our good friend Bill Simpson is doing with the NFL | Post: 10 years after Earnhardt died, safety pioneer Simpson tries to aid NFL players | Indianapolis, Indiana

Saturday, February 12, 2011


HP Launches “Everybody On” Global Marketing Campaign

Commercial featuring Alicia Keys to debut during 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 9, 2011

HP today unveiled “Everybody On,” a global marketing campaign that celebrates how people around the world are using HP technology to pursue their personal and professional passions.

The launch – spanning music, fashion, community activism, business and more – is supported by an integrated marketing campaign featuring print, broadcast, online and social media. The campaign was created by HP’s Personal Systems Group and builds on the highly acclaimed “The Computer is Personal Again” campaign.

“Technology plays a vital role in how people explore, develop and enable their passions,” said Richard Gerstein, senior vice president, Strategy and Worldwide Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Five years ago the personal computer was the center of one’s connected life, while today people are at the center and their technology – across smartphones, tablets, PCs and cloud services – needs to provide seamless connectivity to what is important to them.”

The “Everybody On” campaign kicks off with a 60-second anthem TV spot featuring an instrumental version of Lou Reed’s iconic song “Walk on the Wild Side.” It showcases a broad range of solutions – from computers to mobile devices and printers – and how technology connects people to their passions.

At the center of the campaign is the “Everybody On” Digital Hub, where a variety of digital content will be hosted, including inspirational interviews about pursuing passions using HP technology. The digital hub will allow consumers to engage with passionate individuals and businesses from around the world, including IndyCar driver Gil de Ferran, social activist Aria Finger from and “Project Runway” star Mondo Guerra.

HP and the 53rd GRAMMY® Awards

During the 53rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards telecast on Feb. 13, HP will unveil the first in a series of TV spots that highlight personal passions and the HP technology that enables them. The first spot will feature 13-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys sharing her passion for music and the importance of her audience hearing her songs exactly as she recorded them.

The commercial will feature HP notebook PCs with Beats Audio™, an award-winning technology solution exclusive to HP that was built in collaboration with artist and producer Dr. Dre and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to produce studio-quality sound on a computer.

This year the GRAMMY Awards telecast will feature the new HP TouchPad, the first HP webOS tablet, displaying what’s coming up next in the show in some CBS/GRAMMY on-air bumpers leading into commercial breaks.

As an official GRAMMY sponsor, HP also will support key GRAMMY Week events, including the MusiCares® Person of the Year tribute honoring Barbra Streisand, a title sponsorship of the exclusive Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and the official GRAMMY Celebration® after-party. Celebrities and guests at the GRAMMY Celebration after-party can experience Beats Audio at HP listening stations.

The global marketing campaign was developed in collaboration with agencies Creature, Designkitchen, Edelman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, McCann Erickson, Omnicom Media Group and Publicis.

More information is available at

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

For Performance & Safety Reasons Customer Pours A BSS Seat Kit for their FSCCA Car

Building A Bead Seat

Part I -- Pouring the Seat
This is the first “Bead Seat” we’ve built. In the Cougar, we had a Momo carbon fiber seat and in the SRF, we had what they gave us. For this car, however, it's clear that for both performance reasons (better driver “feel” of the car) and safety reasons (the bead seat provides some “give” slowing down the energy transmission in a crash) we wanted a bead seat.

The bead seat kit consists of 3 basic parts...a vacuum bag, a bunch of plastic “beads” about the size of BB’s and a 2-part epoxy resin. We purchased a Pennon Composites B3-XL seat kit. What follows are the pictures we took during our seat construction.

Prepping the Chassis
The first step was to remove the stock “seat” (a plastic injection molded thing) and cover up the “sharp edges” of the cockpit...and provide some “ramping” for chassis floor tubes. Cover the sharp edges so you don’t puncture the seat vacuum bag. Ramp the chassis tubes so you don’t mold the seat to tightly to the chassis (so you can't remove it when it hardens).

The picture at right shows the duct tape used to hold Pennon’s “anti-puncture” plastic cover in place. The duct tape also covers specific sharp edges. The cardboard you see are the “ramps” over the chassis tubes and another leading up to the battery cover.

And here’s another shot of the same process...looking rearward.

In this picture, Robert (in the car) is asking John Church (outside the car) for instructions on how to get out of the car (note the “Formula Car Exit Instructions” in John’s hand).

Actually, they’re discussing the “fit” of the seat and how to distribute the beads before we put in the resin.

This process, adding and removing beads, moving them around and then trying the fit took about 10 attempts before Robert felt right in the car.

Forty five minutes after putting the resin in the bag and putting both the bag and Robert in the car, we now have our rough seat. You can see the taped up neck at the top of the seat. This is where the vacuum cleaner is connected to pull a vacuum on the seat while the seat consolidates (i.e. the resin sets-up around the beads). The vacuum is critical to ensure the removal of voids in the seat.

And here is the rough seat removed from the car. One good things about the large size of the FSCCA cockpit is that you can remove the seat in a single piece rather than having to split it in two (like on a Zetec car).

And finally, here’s the seat with most or the “rough stuff” trimmed away.

Robert came up during early March and put some more work into the seat. Here's how he cut out the holes for the seat belts. He's got the seat at his house now, and I look forward to a finished covered seat in the next week or so.

Part II -- Finishing the Seat
Robert took the seat home and covered it there. The photo's below show the seat prior to him covering it and how it looks covered and in place.

Finishing the Seat
The first thing Robert did was to put some reinforcement in place around the seat belt openings and on the thinner sides of the seat

This shot shows those reinforcements. Robert used some carbon fiber left over from our World Challenge days.

Then, using contact adhesive, Robert applied the fabric to the seat. He also added some foam padding to some low spots.

And here's the seat in the car with the seat belts installed. In this picture you can also see one of the neat cockpit sides we got from Comprent. These installed easily (we used 10-32 nut-serts) and are a nice safety addition to the car.

We've got one more step...and that is to coat the back side of the seat with truck liquid bed-liner material to help keep everything consolidated.

While he had the carbon fiber out, Robert made up this neat little cover to go over the data logger and its wiring (which is installed on the floor, just in front of the front roll hoop). The idea is to protect the equipment and keep the driver from getting his feet tangled in the wiring. You can just see the edge of this cover in the picture above. I know Robert made a mold so I'm sure you could bribe him into making one for you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

James Winslow Ready for 2011


Winslow Raring to Go in 2011

Indianapolis, IN, 8th February 2011 - James Winslow is eager to get back into the race seat after a long winter of preparation, and he believes that his fitness will be a key factor in 2011.

The young Briton has spent the close season working extensively on his physical condition, which he considers a vital attribute and one which will benefit him greatly as he aims to deliver the best possible performance throughout the year.

"It has been a long winter, and I can't wait to get back into a car. I have been training harder than I have done before, and I am confident this will help me both physically and mentally in 2011" said Winslow.

Winslow is also buoyed by a link-up with a new marketing company who will look after Winslow, and his James Winslow Racing setup, a relationship which both parties hope will reap great rewards.

Negotiations for 2011 are ongoing, and Winslow is confident something will be settled soon, allowing him to refine his preparations for the upcoming campaign.

Of the negotiations, Winslow said "Discussions are ongoing for a race seat. I am hoping that something will be announced very soon", adding that "I am always looking out for corporate partners to work with, and any interested parties should feel free to get in touch with me".

The desire to further progress this year comes on the back of a strong rookie year in the Firestone Indy Lights. Winslow's running in the Indy Lights comprised a part-season, in which he delivered good performances, but often luck worked against him.

"2010 started well. We qualified fifth at St. Petersburg with no testing, but a heavy storm in the race caught us out. Despite this we still recorded a strong 7th place finish on our debut. Long Beach was going so well, I moved from the back of the pack after a gearbox failure in qualifying forced me to the rear of the grid, and I was in position for a podium, but the steering wheel came off on the last lap. When we went to Toronto, I was on the fastest pace again, but through no fault of my own I was taken out of the race" said Winslow, whose season highlight in the Indy Lights was at Watkins Glen.

"Watkins Glen stands out for me. It was a really good drive, and I finished fifth after working my way through the field. I was presented with the "Hard Charger" award for that performance", added Winslow.

"Overall I am pleased with how I performed, but there are factors which are out of your control, and these did work against us a a team more often than not", stated Winslow.

"I guess after 3 years of winning back-to-back titles, the luck element needed to balance itself up'" Winslow joked before making clear his desire for 2011 "I'm ready for luck to not be a factor this season. It's time to let our speed do the talking".

For more information, photos and live updates you can follow James on Facebook ( or by searching for "James Winslow Racing"), on Twitter (

A new-for-2011 James Winslow Racing website is almost live. The new design, with all the latest news will soon be online at



Photos & Images
Main Image caption: James Winslow is raring to go in 2011
Additional Image Caption: James Winslow in Action for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights

High resolution images available from: Raring to Go in 2011/images/HighRes/

About James
James Winslow is one of Britain's most talented racing drivers, having vast experience in many series the world over. James has enjoyed success in many series, having claimed Championship titles in Asian Formula 3, Formula Renault V6 and Australian Formula 3. He has represented Team Great Britain in the A1GP series, in addition to being a well liked and respected driving coach.

Contact James
E-Mail: /
Cell: +1 317 442 1229
Facebook Profile:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bald Spot Sports Selects ARPRO to Enhance Safety

ARPRO, has been selected by US motorsport supplier Bald Spot Sports (BSS) and design partner the Createc Corporation for its lightweight impact-resistant properties to enhance safety. This material allows 45 to 50 percent weight reduction and enhanced energy management during a crash. ARPRO also enables NASCAR and IRL teams to build multiple versions of racing safety equipment from a single driver fitting session.

Until now race car seats required the driver and team to be present when each race seat was made. The traditional process used epoxy resin and expanded polystyrene (EPS) beads moulded around the driver. Now, BSS digitally scans the original seat permitting Createc to CNC cut the ARPRO to exact dimensions for an accurate duplicate.

“Adding JSP products into the mix was a natural next step. With ARPRO, the process of creating a comfortable and safe racing seat is repeatable. No epoxy is required, so weight is reduced by more than 45 percent and risk of human error is mitigated,” explains Cameron Cobb, Manager of Construction & Specialty Products, Createc Corporation.

For more than five years, BSS and Createc have been the ultimate racing alliance, bringing innovative ARPRO to the track and offering greater force reduction in a variety of impact situations.

In addition to the manufacturing advantage, ARPRO delivers safety improvements. “Some collisions happen at 200mph, and Bald Spot is working to provide the driver with the ultimate in protection when it comes to force reduction technology,” continues Cobb. “ARPRO helps support this objective. It is one of the most efficient safety materials available, providing more energy management than traditional seat materials. In third-party testing, our seat material absorbed 30 percent more energy on the first impact and 60 percent more energy during the second impact than other seat materials currently in use.”

The ARPRO seat has won praise from all quarters: “We’re wheel to wheel and bumper to bumper every weekend, and the team’s success depends on protecting our driver,” comments Dave Kenny, Engineer on the NASCAR Cup Series at Penske Racing. “Our track time is extremely valuable, and we need to be focused on racing. We work to nail the first seat fitting and then duplicate it all season. We believe in the lightweight BSS products because they save us time and money and offer quick turnaround. Our team’s drivers like Kurt Busch are very happy with this product.”

“Driver protection is of paramount importance and ARPRO is strong enough to cushion impact, yet light enough to maintain competitive edge. As ARPRO is the only material used, lead times are also reduced,” explains Paul Compton, JSP’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Europe.

ARPRO is used extensively in automotive applications, and is resistant to high temperatures making it ideal for use in a wide range of motorsport such as the World Rally Championship (WRC). ARPRO’s extremely high strength-to-weight ratio is particularly beneficial in motorsport safety; withstanding multiple impacts without significant deformation and returning to its original shape following dynamic stress.

“The demanding nature of motorsport requires reduced time from the CAD suite to the race circuit, and this project is further proof that ARPRO is ideal for motorsport applications,” concludes Compton.

Bald Spot Sports QR Code