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09-28-2006, 05:12 AM
2006 Air Ride Technologies 3rd Annual Street Challenge


We thought about writing an “expanded press release” or a “mini story” for the media, but the raw information from the Street Challenge seems to speak for itself. We have included quotes from the professional drivers who were present and the timing data from the comparison cars that we tested. We have also included images of the vehicles present and a list of car owners for reference.
We have also outlined the goals for this event and how they were accomplished. Hopefully this will give you the “who, what, why, and when” info you need to relay to your readers. Be sure to give me or Peg a call if you need anymore information!

1. What is the Street Challenge?
· Simply put…Air Ride Technologies track day. We rented Putnam Park road course, brought 12 of our own air suspended hotrods, invited several of our customers, and did some timed autocross and open track laps. All of the print and TV media present had the opportunity to ride in, and drive a number of different air suspension vehicles at speed on the racetrack.

2. Why the Street Challenge exists…
· To expose the hotrod world to the performance benefits of air suspension. For years air suspension had the image of being cosmetic…for laying around in the parking lot and detrimental to hardcore performance. Although we knew this was not true, the only way to change anyone’s opinion about this was to put some butts in some seats!

3. How was the Street Challenge different from any other track day?
· Professional drivers. Boris Said, Scott Pruett, Mike McGlaughlin, Ted Musgrave, and Timothy Peters were on hand to give rides, driving instructions, do timed comparisons, and answer questions. The addition of professional opinions about the performance of these cars was quite enlightening to the media that was present as well as the Air Ride Technologies staff and customers.

4. What was different about the Street Challenge this year?
· direct comparison between stock suspension and air suspension. The previous 2 years we ran an oem suspension car in the morning and coverted it to sir suspension over lunch. This year we actually had 2 stock suspension musclecars, a 67 Chevelle and a 68 Camaro, to directly compare to an air suspension 66 Chevelle and 67 Camaro. The results were nearly unbelievable, as you can see from the timing data.
· More real timing data. This year Nick Lacata and Tim Foss from Primedia recorded lap times on all vehicles in the shorter ˝ mile autocross style lap and the slalom event. They also recorded the stock suspension comparison vehicle to their air suspension counterparts on the open track. [actual timing data included below]


Street Challenge drivers quotes

One of the highlights of the Street Challenge event this year was the participation of several professional racecar drivers to give us driving instruction and evaluation of our suspension systems. They had some interesting comments about their experience.

Boris Said is a well known road course driver who is currently co-owner of the # 60 SoBe/No Fear ford in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. He also has competed extensively in the Grand American Racing Series GT, NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Busch Series, and Trans AM series. His aggressive driving style will expose the weak link in any car and his candor will leave no doubt about what that link may be!

“ Before I came to the Street Challenge last year I thought that air suspension was what you see when the car bounces up and down. After driving many of the Air Ride Technologies cars, I was shocked! It made an old car drive like a new one…the car was much crisper, much flatter. I liked that fact that I could make changes in the air pressure and directly affect the handling of the car…if it was pushing I would raise the back just a little, if it was loose I would soften the rear.
I am buying a 55 F100 and one of the first things I am doing is putting an air suspension on it. Now that I have seen how nice the ride quality is, and how well they drive, it’s definitely what I want for my everyday driver.”

Scott Pruett is the driver for the Ganassi Racing #01 in the Grand American Rolex sports Car Series. He has also won several SCCA Trans Am, IMSA GTO, and IMSA GT Endurance Championships.

“ Like many people, I thought that air suspension was more of a style or cosmetic thing than a performance item. I had a 50 Buick with a crude airbag system on it but had never taken the time to learn anything about it so the performance of my Buick system was not impressive. After coming to the Street Challenge this year I know there is a whole new level of performance available with an air suspension. These cars rode and drove great! It is truly the best of both worlds. There was no sacrifice of ride quality to get superior performance. When I got out of the red Chevelle with the stock suspension, I was DONE with that car…it was scary. The air suspension Chevelle drove and rode great…AND was 14 seconds a lap faster!”


Mike McGlaughlin is a former NASCAR Busch Series driver and is currently a driving coach for Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina.

“ Being very interested in street rods, I had heard of air suspension and figured it was mostly for cosmetic purposes…to get the car low and still be able to drive it. Attending the Street Challenge really expanded my expectations of what a performance suspension can be. When driving the stock suspension vehicles [at the event] it would take a huge amount of steering input [11/2 turns] to get any response. It seemed like /I was chasing it all the time. With the air suspension car a ˝ turn of the wheel was all it took to point it where you wanted to go! The cars drove great…they did everything I asked them to do… but I can’t wait to play with more shock and swaybar combinations to wring out even more performance.”

Timothy Peters is the driver for Bobby Hamilton Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series and will drive in the Busch Grand National Series for Richard Childress Racing in 2007.

“I have to admit, I had no experience at all with an air suspension car before the Street Challenge this year, so I had no expectations good, bad, or indifferent. I was impressed. This first thing I noticed was the ride quality. Then we went into the first turn. It was like a race suspension with a comfortable ride! The Camaro with the stock suspension felt like it was going to spit me out at any moment…and finally did. [Tim spun the stock 68 Camaro hard in turn 7] This air suspension stuff just blew me away. The really cool thing was the changes you could make with air pressure and shock valving to change the performance of the car. In a race car you have to stop and make adjustments or even change parts…with this stuff you just push a button!


Street Challenge timing highlights:


· 1.112 G cornering force (recorded on the blue 1966 air suspension Chevelle via RacePak G2X on Sept. 6, 2006 at Putnam Park Road Course on BF Goodrich G-force tires with Boris Said Driving)

· The blue 1966 Chevelle with Air Ride Technologies air suspension components (Front – ShockWaves® with upper and lower StrongArm® control arms, Rear – AirBar® system) turned an open track lap of 1:29.05. The red 1967 Chevelle SS with stock suspension ran a 1:43.27 lap. Scott Pruett ran both runs picking up 14.22 seconds with the air suspension Chevelle. At that pace the stock suspension Chevelle would be lapped by the air suspension Chevelle every 7.3 laps!

· In the Autocross the gold 1968 Camaro with stock suspension ran a 39.79 seconds lap. The red 1967 Camaro with Air Ride Technologies air suspension (Front – ShockWaves® with upper and lower StrongArm® control arms, Rear – AirBar® system) ran a 34.16 seconds lap. Both laps were driven by Mike McLaughlin. The air suspension Camaro picked up just over 5.5 seconds over the stock suspension.

Autocross timing data [by vehicle]
Car # Vehicle Color Owner Best Time Air suspension equipment
1 1969 Mustang Silver Air Ride Technologies 33.64 ShockWaves/AirBar
2 1970 Buick GSX Yellow Air Ride Technologies 33.22 ShockWaves/StrongArms
3 1971 Camaro RS Black Air Ride Technologies 33.26 ShockWaves/AirBar
4 1967 Chevelle SS Red Air Ride Technologies 37.36 Stock coilspring suspension
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Air Ride Technologies 32.23 ShockWaves/StrongArms
6 1968 Bonneville Gold Air Ride Technologies 35.53 Coolride/Coolride
7 2005 Mustang GT White Air Ride Technologies 31.24 AirStruts/ShockWaves
8 1967 Camaro RS Red Air Ride Technologies 34.16 ShockWaves/AirBar
9 1968 Camaro Gold Air Ride Technologies 37.58 Stock coil/leaf suspension
10 1973 Challenger Black Air Ride Technologies 35.68 ShockWaves/Airbar
11 1956 F100 Blue Air Ride Technologies 36.98 Fatman’s MII/Coolride – Parallel 4 link/CoolRide

22 1969 Camaro** Black Year One 34.92 Martz/coilovers/leafspring
23 1969 Roadrunner Red Year One 40.76 ShockWaves/AirBar
24 1969 Camaro White Year One 34.84 Martz/ShockWaves/AirBar
25 1968 Mustang Copper Fatman Fabrication No time AirStruts/WonderBar
26 1966 F100 Green Fatman Fabrication 41.16 Fatman’s MII/ShockWaveParallel 4 link /Coolride
30 1958 Buick Red Josh Mischler 40.16 CoolRide/CoolRide
31 1965 Mustang SN65** Yellow Wayne and Bob Julian 32.21 Complete 2003 Mustang Cobra chassis
32 1994 S10 Red Bob Hilton 44.54 ShockWave/ShockWave
34 2005 Silverado** Black Kurt Urban 38.47 Stock suspension
35 1964 Chevy C10 Red Eddie Rudd 46.70 Coolride/CoolRide
36 1966 Mustang Blue Jim Bielecki No time
37 1970 Chevelle Silver Carroll Kallweit 35.32 ShockWaves/CoolRide
38 1986 Buick GN Grey Poncho Mateo 42.28 ShockWaves/CoolRide
41 1969 Camaro Z28 Blue Elmer Cole 32.78 ShockWaves/AirBar
42 1969 C10 truck Black Chris Smith 40.46 StrongArms/Coolride
43 1995 Trans Am Red Kurt Ukasik 34.18 ShockWaves/Coolride
44 1990 C1500 Grey Pro-rides 35.01 CoolRide/AirBar
45 2005 GM dually Red Pro-rides 35.39 StrongArms/Coolride/AirBar
46 1970 Cuda** Orange Bob Johnson 31.57 Custom coilover chassis
** = non-air suspension







Top ten autocross times
Car# Vehicle Color Owner Time
7 2005 Mustang GT White Air Ride Technologies 31.24
46 1970 Cuda** Orange Bob Johnson 31.57
31 1967 Mustang**SN65 Yellow Wayne and Bob Julian 32.21
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Air Ride Technologies 32.23
41 1969 Camaro Z28 Blue Elmer Cole 32.78
2 1970 Buick GSX Yellow Air Ride Technologies 33.22
3 1971 Camaro RS Black Air Ride Technologies 33.26
1 1969 Mustang Silver Air Ride Technologies 33.64
8 1967 Camaro RS Red Air Ride Technologies 34.16
43 1995 Trans Am Red Kurt Ukasik 34.18




Stock suspension vs. air suspension comparison timing data - Autocross
Car# Vehicle Color Professional driver Autocross time w/ stock suspension Autocross time w/ air suspension Improvement
9 1968 Camaro Gold Timothy Peters 37.58
9 1968 Camaro Gold Mike McGlaughlin 39.79
8 1967 Camaro Red Timothy Peters 35.05 2.53 seconds
8 1967 Camaro Red Mike McGlaughlin 34.16 5.63 seconds
4 1967 Chevelle SS Red Boris Said 37.36
4 1967 Chevelle SS Red Scott Pruett 37.67
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Boris Said 32.23 5.13 seconds
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Scott Pruett 32.50 5.17 seconds


Stock suspension vs. air suspension comparison timing data – Open track
Car# Vehicle Color Professional driver Autocross time w/ stock suspension Autocross time w/ air suspension Improvement
9 1968 Camaro Gold Mike McGlaughlin 1:37.54
8 1967 Camaro Red Timothy Peters 1:34.92 2.62 seconds
4 1967 Chevelle SS Red Boris Said 1:39.00
4 1967 Chevelle SS Red Scott Pruett 1:43.27
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Boris Said 1:26.10 12.90 seconds
5 1966 Chevelle Blue Scott Pruett 1:29.05 14.22 seconds

MarkM66
10-02-2006, 06:08 AM
Pics?

camcojb
10-02-2006, 06:11 AM
Pics?

Good luck. They posted and ran on the other board, not answering any questions.

Jody

10-02-2006, 02:19 PM
We should have some pics up on our site shortly.

camcojb
10-02-2006, 04:08 PM
Thanks Darren, I appreciate the info.

Jody

10-03-2006, 12:09 PM
i have a few photos now, we should have a bunch more on our site in the next couple of days......

10-05-2006, 02:13 PM
That is a good picture of the new mustang, i bet that was a fun ride......(rick).