Pacific Coast continues preparation of DP01 Oxnard, CA – The entire Pacific Coast Motorsports organization is hard at work as they prepare for their Champ Car debut. The team’s second DP01 arrived today and PCM rookies Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel got acquainted with their new rides as they spent Wednesday and Thursday of this week at the PCM headquarters in Oxnard, California for their seat fittings.
“My car just arrived and I am thrilled,” said Scottish rookie Ryan Dalziel with a telling grin. “The car is awesome and I am surprised at how much room there is. At 5’11, I am typically pretty tall in an open wheel car, but there is a lot of space inside the cockpit, and you sit very low in this car, it is very comfortable.”
The removable seats which fit in the Champ Car are made specifically for each driver. It is a long and precise two-day process, as PCM crew chief Roy Wilkerson explains, “Fred Gans is here at the shop from Mark One Composites. MK1 is considered to be one of the top seat makers in the business. MK1 uses a bead type system, which consists of thousands, maybe millions of small beads and two-part glue.”
In order to begin the seat making process, the car must be prepped, with the pedals in and the steering shaft and wheel must be in place. The driver must be wearing all of his racing gear, including his helmet. Wilkerson continues “Once everyone is ready to begin, the driver sits himself in the empty cockpit of the car where he thinks he needs to be, holding himself in position with the wheel. With the driver where he needs to be, Fred makes adjustments to the amount of beads in the bag.
We will then make a trial run, with the bag and driver in the car, moving the beads to tightly fit the driver’s body as he sits in the car. Then, the glues is added and mixed very carefully so that it makes contact with every bead. With the bag in, the driver in and the glue added, we now have about two hours to work with the bag and beads to get everything in place.
Once we are satisfied, we use a vacuum to pull all of the air out of the bag. The driver remains in the car, sitting in the same position for 30-45 minutes. Once the glue starts to set, the driver can get out of the car. The vacuum remains on an additional five to seven hours as the seat hardens. The next morning, the now hard seat can be shaped and it requires trimming to remove it from the car for additional trimming. The driver returns to the car and more trimming takes place until he is comfortable.
When everyone is happy, we cover the seat in tape and use it that way for the first test. If everyone is happy with the seat throughout the test, then we send it to MK1 in Indianapolis and it gets covered with a thin layer of foam and Nomex cloth, then, it is ready for racing.”
PCM drivers Alex Figge and Ryan Dalziel will try-out their new seats and their new cars at the first series test in two weeks time at Sebring International Raceway, January 23-25th.
Next Up: Alex and Ryan will spend the weekend prior to the test, promoting Champ Car and PCM at the NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center, Friday, January 19th from Noon – 3:00 pm. The NAMM show is the countries largest trade show for the music industry. From there they head to Phoenix, Arizona, home of the Arizona Grand Prix and the famous Barrett Jackson Car Show, known as “The Greatest Car Show on Earth.” Alex and Ryan will sign autographs at the show on Saturday, Jan. 21st from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. For all the latest news, please visit www.pcmracing.com.