3 Of The Best "Rule Bends" In Motorsport
One of the main reasons I love motorsport is the ingenuety and creativity that has to be employed by engineers to get themselves ahead of the competiton. Sometimes ingenuity can cross the line into cheating, and that's what we're going to be looking at...
3: Smokey's Scale Model Chevelle
Smokey Yunick was one of the most prolific cheaters in all of motorsport. If there was even a slight grey area in the rule book, he would exploit it to the max. Take his 1966 Chevelle stock car. It looks fairly normal and "nothing to see here, mate", but if you parked this next to a road going '66 Chevelle, the difference will become blatantly clear. This particular Chevrolet stock car is a 7/8th scale version and the body has been moved back along the frame. Obviously, by making the car smaller than the competition's it significantly reduced the weight without catching the attention of the stewards. The reasoning behind moving the body rearwards was to improve traction and aid the aerodynamics. Sadly, the stewards caught wind of Yunick's "rule bending" and imposed the use of templates to ensure the cars were built to the right dimensions.
2: Acid Dip Brought To You Penske
When it comes to making a fast car, lightweight is always the best way to go. That's why so many teams will do the utmost to get the lightest car possible. Take Roger Penske and his Camaro on acid. Yes, this a Camaro that is on acid... sort of. To make the Chevy as light as possible without the stewards throwing their toys out the pram, Penske dipped the car in acid to eat away at the metal and make it lighter. The only issue with this process was that it made the car extremely fragile and brittle. In order to work their way around the problem, an absolute monster of a roll cage was added to stop the car flexing or, worst case, snapping. Due to the unorthodox roll cage, the stewards took a closer look at the Camro and dicovered Roger's acid addiciton.
1: Toyota's Fuel Tank Boot
This is my personal favourite cheat in the whole of motorsport. When Toyta were scouring the rulebook for ways to get the edge over the porshce and mercedes shaped competition, they decided to look at the rule that stated a luggage compartment fit for a standard size of suitcase had to be in the car. Clearly Toyota's idea of "luggage compartment" was completely different to the rulemakers. They chose to use the fuel tank as the luggaeg space since there was nothing in the rules saying they couldn't. The best part of all of this? The FIA could do nothing about, as they hadn't stipulated it couldn't be done. It's not just the Americans that can cheat in motorsport.