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Andretti Autosport CNC machinist Adam Erwin looks over the suspension dampers he just finished crafting for his team. Less than a day ago, the collection of dozens of tiny parts were just an engineer’s idea and a slab of metal, a dream to shave 0.1 seconds off a lap time.
That’s the life of an autosports machinist. Every day, 25 pairs of eyes scrutinize every race car component he machines – from the engineers and mechanics who design and install the parts to the drivers and sponsors who rely on them for victory. Each one of them expects Erwin’s parts to be precise, resilient, and aesthetically perfect before they can be used in an Andretti Autosport Indy car.
Like its cars, Andretti Autosport works fast. Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, the team operates under stringent time constraints where every component must be perfect and produced as quickly as possible. And while many parts must remain stock to ensure an even playing field for all drivers, teams can make some vehicle modifications. This is where Erwin and the Andretti team’s other in-house CNC machinists come into play.
Suspension components and dampers (shock absorbers) are two major car features open to modification. Racing teams will often develop new, proprietary parts to continually improve car performance and shave valuable seconds off lap times.Read More...