3. With the trend toward having more adjustment in shocks, have the racers become comfortable with that technology so that they can properly use what is offered?
* Afco - Many teams have taken an active roll in our training sessions and shock schools to enhance their abilities to maximize shocks performance.
* Integra - Although some teams work on their own shocks at the track and in the shop, most still need some guidance as to when and why to make adjustments. At Integra, we not only offer track-side assistance, but individual team training courses are available at our facility in Muskegon, Michigan.
More and more, teams are realizing that there are significant gains that can be obtained from the adjusting and revalving of their shock packages. Integra's goal is to offer teams the most technologically advanced shock, packaged in the most user friendly design. We feel the easier a shock is to understand and adjust, the more likely a team will make the correct adjustments
* Ohlins - Most racers are doing fine adjusting the shocks. Customers who have a shock dyno are keeping up with their shocks. For the customers that do not have one, Ohlins provides very simple setting recommendation sheets to help them. A damper with two efficient, easy-to-understand adjusters is better than four that are less efficient. Three or four adjusters can sometimes add confusion in the setup work.
* Pro - Probably less than 5 percent of the racers are utilizing the dampeners to their fullest advantage.
* QA1 - Racers are really starting to understand how the shock adjustment affects the chassis at a dynamic level. Being able to "tie" the car down in certain corners of the race car allows the racer to get in and off the corner smoother and harder than ever before. The teams that keep good detailed notes of their adjustments are the ones I've seen have a lot of success and fully utilize the technology on a consistent basis.
4. One top Dirt Late Model car builder seems to think the most gains today can be made in proper shock selection from what he has seen. In dirt racing, especially top touring Late Model divisions, do the top teams seem more interested in the high-end shocks than in the past?
* Afco - Yes, Dirt Late Model shock technology has evolved tremendously over the last 5 years. Most top tour teams have shock dynos in their facility or onboard their race haulers, enabling them to fine tune their racing program from track to track.
* Integra - Definitely, we are constantly testing and developing new designs and valve codes to keep up with the demand for better shock absorbers. At Integra, we hold closed test sessions with our top teams two to three times per month during the season.
* Ohlins - Now teams are starting to see that with high-end-adjustable shocks, such as the new Ohlins LMP, they don't have to carry around as many shocks. The shock technology of today is also changing the amount of work teams have to do at the track, by changing the shocks less.
* Pro - Yes, today they would not consider using non-adjustable shocks, but with that being said, the majority of the teams are not utilizing the adjustable shocks to their advantage.
* QA1 - Top touring teams are always going to be after the newest high-end component for racing. In the shock world, I've seen top teams looking for consistent shocks that are non-fading, rebuildable, and revalvable. Being able to offer these teams a product that is race-ready right off the shelf is one aspect that has made our company so successful. Top teams can't afford to be inconsistent, and being able to offer a full product line of shocks, which are 100 percent dyno tested, is a way to ensure their success.
5. With new setups such as the Big Bar and Soft Spring setups now used on asphalt and the more flat-running attitude of the Dirt LMs, have adjustable shocks helped the teams to better tune these setups? Can the shocks of today compliment the popular softer spring setups in both dirt and asphalt?