Shawn Ireland’s Team
Back in the ’80s, cars were running on large ovals that were
built for bicycle racing, and speed runs were a part of many
events. Shawn Ireland was one of the guys who dominated
these types of events, and here’s one of his cars from circa
1988. Shawn says that he called this car a “pancake car”
because it was so low to the ground. Average speed over
three laps determined the winner of the speed runs, which
worked out to about 75mph for Shawn’s machine. Peak
speeds were higher though—over 100mph.
Foam tires were where it was at for racing, but
for speed runs, rubber capped tires were used.
A Kevlar belt inside kept it from expanding and
exploding during speed runs. Check out the thin
strip of lead tape used to balance the tire to keep
the car as smooth as possible.
Shawn’s car started life as a standard
Team Associated RC10L, which was a
Yep, there are 14 Ni-Cd batteries in that car, and they add not only
serious power to the car but also weight to the chassis. These cells
are slightly smaller than the standard sub-C batteries being used in
the day. These cells had a reduced capacity, which was not a problem
for the short runs that the car made; the important thing is that they
saved some weight.
Yes, that’s a brushed electric motor under that wing, and it has been offset
slightly to the left to improve the car’s weight balance.