NASA Pro Racing – Interview with Chuck Schwynoch, CEO
Maximum Motorsports, Inc.
June 28, 2006
By Andy Bowman
Q. The #91 MM Mustang is using an IRS rear suspension, what drove you to this decision, how has the effort been going so far?
A. We had a growing number of customers who called us and said that they were not happy with their IRS, and asked us if they should swap in the proven MM Torque-arm/Panhard Bar rear suspension. We couldn't give them a truthful answer until we had done our own testing to directly compare the Ford IRS to a well-sorted Torque-arm/Panhard bar system. Our AI race car had won races, and set track records, so it was the perfect candidate for comparison. We swapped the rear end over to the IRS, with all of the parts we had developed over the previous year on a street-driven 2003 Cobra. We left the front of the car exactly as it was with the Torque arm suspension. We maintained the exact same rear track width, and even swapped over the same brakes, rotors, calipers, and pads, from the solid axle. We then hit the track for testing. By the end of the first day of testing we were 3 seconds under the AI track record at Buttonwillow. With the IRS we had to learn what alignment and bumpsteer settings worked best. That's what testing told us. Without track testing, we really could not have given our customers an honest answer to their questions about the IRS. Even if our testing had shown the IRS to be grossly inferior to a solid axle, we at least would then be able to help our customers make an informed decision about modifying their car. As it turned out, the IRS is superior to a solid axle fitted with a Torque-arm and Panhard bar, in most aspects.