Applied Racing Technology: The trickle down effect

By DonaldMoon

Racing began over 100 years ago as a competition between car manufacturers to determine who made the best cars. You could say that this was the beginning of the idea of “applied racing technology¬† on Sunday, Sell on Monday.”

Automakers continue to provide engines, components, and sponsorship money to race teams today, in order to convince the public that their engines will outperform their rivals.

Automakers’ long-held goal was to have vehicles that are strong, durable, and powerful enough to be used in applied racing technology.

Vortec ASA 5700 engines are made for the American Speed Association Applied Racing Technology Series. The Vortec ASA 5700 engine is based on the GM LS1 engine and can produce 430 horses or 430 ft-lb torque.

CM Goes ‘Stock Car Racing’. The American Speed Association (or ASA) is one of the many racing programs General Motors participates. ASA was founded in the Midwest in 1968 to provide a short-track form of stock car racing. The cars were simply street-car versions at the time. To make the series more competitive, mechanical rules were introduced to level the playing field.

The winner would be determined by the quality of prepared cars glass desk, skilled drivers, and luck, rather than financial support or sponsorship. Another innovative rule of the ASA is the requirement of mufflers for spectators.

The ASA began putting the “stock” back into stock car race technology in 2000. In that year, the GM-built Vortec ASA5700 engine was mandatory. The engine is based upon the 5.7-liter LS1 motor found in street versions such as the Corvette, Camaro, and Pontiac Firebird. However, the Vortec ASA5700 is rated at 430 hp with 430 ft.lb of torque. To enhance the performance of applied racing technology, the “black boxes” are GM production units that have slightly different fuel delivery and spark advance values.

These units have the same diagnostic storage capabilities and retrieval capabilities that passenger car modules. Key parameters and functions such as spark advance, injector pulse width, and critical fluid temperatures can all be monitored. This data is used to develop and research new products for GM. Mark McPhail is the GM Applied Racing Technology Lead Engineering. He stated that “what we learn on track is directly applied in our passenger car engines.”