Variable ratio steering wins BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award Bishop Steering Technology’s variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering, new to the 92nd Indianapolis 500, received the 42nd annual BorgWarner Louis Schwitzer Award today at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering technology developed by Bishop offers a number of driver performance benefits, including reduced fatigue through improved ease in steering, more efficient pit entry and exit, and improved maneuverability for hazard avoidance.
Engineers Andrew Heathershaw, Soungjin Wou and Nick Belonogoff of Bishop Steering Technology and Andrea Toso from Dallara Automobili were honored for their work in the development and implementation of this technology for the IndyCar Series. Bishop’s North American facility is based in Indianapolis, while vehicle dynamics work on the system was performed in Sydney, Australia.
The award, presented to engineers by engineers, honors early racing pioneer Louis Schwitzer, and acknowledges individuals with the courage and passion to explore and develop new concepts in racing technology. BorgWarner sponsors this prestigious $10,000 award, which is presented by the Indiana Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
SAE International also supports the Louis Schwitzer Award by providing a $2,000 scholarship to the engineering school of the winner’s choice, which this year is Purdue University in W. Lafayette, Ind. The winner’s names will be added to a permanent trophy on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.
The variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering system combines a range of steering rack teeth into one compact, efficient system that is manufactured with a high-tech machining process that creates gear tolerances of 1 to 2 microns. In the past, teams had to select one steering-rack tooth size for an event.
Development of the variable ratio rack-and-pinion steering system for the IndyCar Series started in 2007 with Panther Racing, and Andretti Green Racing also joined in development with Panther and the Indy Racing League last year. The technology became available to all IndyCar Series teams this season.
SOUNGJIN WOU (Engineer, Bishop Steering Technology): “This is another great tool to tune the cars. It’s very exciting.”
KYLE MOYER (General manager, Andretti Green Racing): “With a variable rack, when drivers go into a high-speed corner, it’s a six-tooth rack. When they go through a chicane, it’s a 10-tooth rack. This system covers all of our bases.”