This week finds Schumacher Racing’s U-37 hull and transporter back in school. The school being South Seattle Community College in West Seattle.
A visit to the school’s automotive area found enthusiastic students under the guidance of faculty members Doug Clapper, Howard Andersen and Steve Ford doing a complete overhaul of the team’s transporter and preparing the hull, wings, fairings and bull noses for painting in the school’s modern paint bay.
At SSCC, advanced students are given the opportunity to do the same kind of work on cars and trucks they will soon be doing in the real world and have received very high praise for the quality of work done at the school.
In the automotive finish department, instructor Steve Ford said, “A project like this is a little different for us and the students have really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved. It will be fun to see this boat on the water this summer.”
Everything from brakes to air-conditioning will be included in the work being done on the truck under the supervision of Doug Clapper and Howard Andersen and the boat is getting a bright white paint job which will be the base of the soon to be revealed new color scheme.
Before heading to West Seattle from Schumacher’s shop in the Magnolia neighborhood, changes were made to the new hull which should give driver J. Michael Kelly a quicker, smoother ride in 2012. Air traps were extended and other modifications were made to the bottom.
Billy Schumacher feels that changes to the boats motor mounts could be a key to improved performance, saying, “We fought vibrations all season in the new boat, and we think the way the motor was mounted was the problem. Vibration costs you horsepower and speed and we think we have taken care of that problem.”
Schumacher also reports the team will have two newly refurbished engines from Whispering Turbines and a third backup motor will travel with the team. Three gear boxes and more gear ratios will give the crew and driver more options for setting up the boat ride along with five race ready propellers.
After working through an off season that brought a lot of changes to the race team, Schumacher is very optimistic about the 2012 season. The beautiful new boat that debuted in 2011 showed flashes of brilliance and the team feels they have done the hull tuning necessary to give Kelly a boat that will run with the quickest in the fleet.
“We are really excited about the status of the team right now,” added Schumacher. “The changes to the new hull along with upgrades to our engine, gear box and propeller programs should make a big difference on the water and we have more positive news we will be releasing before we leave for Madison.”
After a season of R & D on the newest hull in the sport and a very productive off-season, fans of Schumacher Racing and driver J. Michael Kelly can look forward to seeing one of the sport’s best young drivers on the podium regularly in 2012 on the Air National Guard h1 Unlimited circuit.