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Engine problems force change of direction for Strachan

The weekend started off beautifully for 23 year old Malcolm Strachan. With a fastest time in practice at Mosport International Raceway, the weekend looked to be smooth. On his first flying lap in qualifying, the clutch pedal of the Mobil-1 Corvette went to the floor, so he did one more flying lap while shifting with no clutch. The exhaust header came off during that lap, and the radiator fan sliced open the radiator. However, Malcolm still pushed the car as hard as it would allow, and managed to still grab pole position, only 0.3 seconds off his fastest ever time at Mosport.

A mad dash ensued to get the car ready for the first race that afternoon. The radiator was sealed with epoxy, the exhaust header reattached, and Malcolm was prepared to race with no clutch. As he pulled the Corvette up to the grid, it was obvious that the broken exhaust had been hiding some bad noises coming from the engine. The decision was made not to race, as the engine would not have lasted the first few laps, since high G-forces would starve the engine of oil.

With the engine rebuild and oiling-system upgrades taking up vital time, Malcolm will be forced to miss the next race, and is therefore effectively out of the running for the Ontario GT1 title.

For the past school year, Malcolm and three other Queen’s University students were designing and building a rear wing for a racing car for their thesis project. The project is a small part of an international project sponsored by the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering education (PACE). PACE sponsored 26 universities from around the world to design and build various parts of a racing car, and it will be assembled in Provo, Utah.

With his racing commitments now out of the way, Malcolm will be able to travel to Utah and assist with the assembly and development of the PACE Race Car. He will also travel to Germany to speak at the PACE engineering conference there in July. Malcolm will cut back his racing schedule by a few races, and broaden the scope of the remaining season to include the Fall Classic at Mont Tremblant, where he will defend his title, and potentially a race at Watkins Glen in the NASA Super Touring series.



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