Since the announcement of the inaugural ASA Transcontinental Series event at the Phakisa Freeway Circuit in Welkom, Free State, South Africa, the ASATS "Warthog" Tech Team has been busy helping the teams get prepared. Their hard work has paid off so far as the entire starting field has been placed in containers and have begun their journey to the Port of Durban, South Africa.
Most of the responsibility has fallen on the hands of Mike "Lumpy" Lemke, Head Technical Director for the ASA Transcontinental Series. Lemke also serves in the same role with the successful ASA Midwest Tour which will open its fourth season in 2010.
When he was given this task, Lemke had one overall goal in mind, "We are trying to reduce the costs of a big car series," Lemke said. "We are working to increase the engine life along with the wear and tear on the engines thus making racing more affordable while still putting on a great show for the fans and drivers alike."
There are many components that will factor in to achieving this goal, "We are doing this by using 2bbl carburetors and reducing the overall rpm's that the engines will run for a 500 km race," Lemke explained. "We will still turn speeds of over 150 mph or 240 kph."
Another component is in the engine itself as Lemke announced that a new engine package will be introduced for this event that includes a complete electronic fuel injection package. "The ASA Transcontinental Series motor will be a first that I know of in a car of this style," Lemke announced. "This engine package was developed by Tim Schwanke of Schwanke Engines of Springfield, MN. This engine package is the least expensive engine in our new series at $15,000.00 complete and ready to run."
The Schwanke engine is based on Chevrolet's LS3 aluminum block, the motor boast a host of items like aluminum heads, custom pistons, and a hydraulic roller cam. It comes complete with an EFI PCM and custom wiring harness along with an L92 truck intake and a 90mm throttle body with 36-pound injectors.
The Wegner Spec Engine and along with 18 degree 9:1 and 12:1 engines have also been approved for this event.
Lemke also said that he has been working with Carl Schultz at Five Star Race Car Bodies in Twin Lakes, WI on a new composite body style for the ASATS cars, "To repair a damaged door and quarter panel on one of the steel bodied cars would cost more than what this new body will cost complete."
Overall, the goal of making this event cost effective is not just on the tech team's mind but with everyone involved in this event, "With our sponsors and the people that are thinking ahead and our way of thinking this will be a cost effective, challenging and the most important part...put some fun back into full bodied cup styled 3200 pound stock cars," Lemke said. "One thing I can say about the tech team and all of the help that I have had so far is that we want to think and look ahead."
Along with Schwanke and Five Star, Lemke has also received assistance from Bruce Mueller of B&B Race Engines, Mike & Gary Tesar of Tesar Racing Engines and Carl Wegner and Dan Timm of Wegner Automotive.
Lemke will be part of a six member tech team that will be going over to South Africa for the Sunday, January 31, 2010 event. Team members also include Alex Tradd, Tom White, Josh Friedrichs, Tim Schwanke, and Tommy Pecaro. Not only will they be performing their tech duties for the event but will also be providing training for the South African tech officials as well.
"Mike Lemke and his "Warthog" Tech Team have worked overtime in making sure that the goals we established for this event are achieved," Dennis Huth, ASA President said. "The rules package he has put together provides the ingredients for what will be an exciting race. The teams have been working very closely with Mike on this project very closely to make it a success. I have never seen so much cooperation like this. Everyone is excited about this event and have had a blast in preparing for it."
While in South Africa, Lemke along with the other officials, competitors and team members will have some time to visit the country. They will enjoy many off-track opportunities to see the various sights of South Africa; this includes a private tour of "Savannah" the wildlife preserve that holds the distinction of being just one of three accredited worldwide breeders of the Cheetah.
To learn more about Phakisa Freeway, visit www.phakisa.com.
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