Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Engine Strategies for 600cc GP Class

The replacement of the 250cc 2-stroke GP class has been announced as a truly bizarre 600cc 4-stroke class. The engine rules will be relatively open, although there is talk of a rev limit, but there will be a ludicrous "claiming rule" meaning that anyone can buy another team's engine for 20,000 Euros. (About 15 and a half thousand quid, 27,000 US Dollars, or 40,000 Aussie Dollars.) I have come up with a few strategies for teams to find a supply of decent engines for €20,000 or less.

1. Economy of Scale
Just build loads of €100,000 engines and the price will come down to €20,000. That means you'll end up supplying most of the grid as they all queue up to claim your engines, but you could still make a few quid due to the economies of scale.
Pro: Brilliant engines for a knock-off price.
Con: Large amount of capital required to make engines for half the grid.

2. Steal Road Bike Engines
If you steal the 600cc engine from a Honda CBR600 or Yamaha R6, then it's free. That means you can spend €20,000 on engine tuning and still break even when somebody claims the engine.
Pro: Free engines leave loads of money for tuning.
Con: The police might get a tad suspicious by the number of thefts in the area of your race team.

3. Commit Murder for Road Bike Engines
Instead of sneaking around at night to steal the engines, you could wait in a country lane until you hear a 600cc sport bike howling towards you, then string up a chain at throat height. The decapitated rider will be helpless to stop you stealing his bike.
Pro: Free engines leave loads of money for tuning.
Con: Engine may be damaged by inevitable crash, will spend 20 years in prison if caught.

4. Infiltrate Ten Kate Organization
Everyone knows that Ten Kate are the best engine tuners in World Supersport, so their factory would be a great place to steal 600cc engines. There are many possible Prison Break-style strategies for the infiltration. My choice would be to dress up as legendary engine tuner Gerrit ten Kate. He's a big lad, so there should be space for an engine inside your fake belly.
Pro: Fantastic engines for free, just pocket the €20,000 when somebody claims them.
Con: Dutch is a tricky language.

5. Impersonate Marshals to Steal WSS Bikes
Staying on the World Supersport theme, it should be possible to nick bikes from WSS races. Just dress up in some mucky orange overalls and hang around a slow corner waiting for a wildcard, or Danish nutter Robbin Harms, to cause a huge pileup. Grab the best bike that's lying on the floor, wheel it behind the tyre wall, into the back of your van and drive off.
Pro: Free, highly tuned engines.
Con: Have to hang around all day drinking coffee from thermos and eating dog-eared sandwiches, may have to help rescue bikes of wrong engine size, may have to visit several races before suitable crash.

Now, I can't be sure which of these strategies will be used by the teams when the 600cc engine rules come in, but I'm pretty sure it will be one of the ideas above.

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