Four Cylinder Racing Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Four Cylinder Racing

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About three years ago, the local stock car track added a new class of racing to its programme. This new class, called Sunday Drivers, brought out a large group of 'weekend warriors' ranging in age from 14 years to 55 years.

The Sunday Drivers class was invented to bring new people into the world of auto racing while keeping the investment to a minimum. The average cost of building one of these cars is about $500, or more, depending on how far you want to go with your car.

The Basic Rules

The rules are basic: the car must be a four cylinder, front wheel drive. The engine should be 'stock'1 for that type of vehicle, and non-turbo charged. Suspension modifications, which would give the vehicle a tilt toward the inside rail and thereby improve its hold on tight turns, are not allowed. To guard against this, suspicious-looking cars are examined by track officials. If modifications are found, the car is given a caution, and the playing field made level by making those cars race in the opposite direction.

Everyday Models

The most common make of car on the track is a Honda. Also popular are Toyotas, Dodges, Fords, and Saturns, but basically the spectator will see any kind of car that can be seen on the streets every day.

A Personal Perspective

My brother races a 1987 Honda Civic Hatchback, my father is a mechanic, and I am part of the pit crew. This surprises a lot of people, who don't expect to see an attractive woman in the pits, covered in grease and changing tires, and some men are disconcerted by a woman who can change an alternator in about 5 minutes or who knows what an alternator is and where to find it.
Every summer, between 24 May and 10 September, the whole family is forced to live, eat and sleep racing. Maybe force is too strong a word, as we rather enjoy it. Every winter the weekends are spent building and rebuilding the car for the following season and reviewing the performance of the previous season to make ourselves more competitive.
We race on a 1/4 mile oval in Riverglade, New Brunswick. Our class of racing, Sunday Drivers, requires that the driver not have more than two years of racing experience. Some of them don't even have a licence yet. After two years of Sunday Drivers, you move up to Sunday Warriors. This class not only includes graduates of the SD class but drivers of eight cylinder cars that would like a change. We are moving the up to the Warriors class this season.
Even though we race in a beginners class, there is a lot of work that goes into making it to the track every Sunday. I wouldn't miss a minute of it!
1Stock means unmodified in this context. The engine may not be enhanced or specially built. Hence the term 'stock car racing'.

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