Conner Martell – Wrenching in the shop

Uncategorized | March 14, 2016

It’s been nearly a month since Conner Martell arrived at DirtFish to get a jumpstart on training for the 2016 Red Bull Global Rallycross season. Since then, he has spent a good amount of time driving and working on his physical strength and fitness. To fill in the gaps between those times, we’ve put him to work in the DirtFish shop, not only wrenching on the GRC Lites car, but also working on the cars we use each day in our rally driving programs.

There’s a lot of work to be done on both of the Lites cars – not only prepping the racecar for the first race in Phoenix, AZ, but also servicing the practice car each time it is used here at DirtFish. To teach Conner about the car he will be racing and and ensure he appreciates the amount of work that goes into keeping cars of that caliber running, he has been helping with the re-prep after each training session. He’s been doing everything from simply cleaning the car off, torquing all the nuts and bolts, replacing the air filter and bleeding the brakes and clutch. It gets a little more extensive after that with a full inspection of the entire chassis for any cracks, including all of the joints and bearings – even removing the gearbox to check the clutch and replace it, if needed.

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The biggest project Conner has been working on is preparing the Lites racecar before the start of the 2016 championship. Since the GRC races have jumps and contact with other cars, all of the parts take a heavier beating than simply testing the cars on the DirtFish property. So, this re-prep entails a more detailed look at what parts could potentially be replaced before the start of the new season. It starts off with a thorough cleaning of the entire car, getting parts repainted and removing any remaining dirt or debris. This not only helps make the car look its best, but will also aid the crew in evaluating the condition of all of the components, discovering what needs to be replaced. Next, Conner and the crew took the time to service the brakes and replace all four wheel bearings. After the rough racing and contact from the 10-car GRC finals, there are bound to be other parts that have taken a heavy beating. Basically, every time the car goes to a race we want it to be in the best shape possible with new components. This will cut down on part failures and/or the need to replace them between heats during the races.

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Conner said, “Working on the car I will be competing in this year is a great learning experience” which will allow him to better understand how the different parts work together to make the car perform so well. Conner will continue to work closely with our shop and crew throughout the 2016 season. It’s all part of our goal of building drivers who are a complete package.

To learn more about out Driver Development program, click here.