Race ready

The 550 spyder was engineered as both a street and track car where many private owners actually drove to the track, raced and if they didn’t crash or retire due to mechanical problems, drove home also. The Werks team was more professional in their track day procedures where they had a full team of mechanics on hand to do everything from suspension adjustments to engine replacements, all within the pits. The type 547 engine was extremely complex and took a trained mechanic numerous hours just to tune it for a race.

Most races had its own rules for each team to comply to. Le Mans regulations included a rattan passenger seat and that all repairs could only be made with tools and components carried on board, so it was important that each car was allocated a full kit which was checked by race marshalls before being packed into a wooded box next to the passenger seat. For races that went into the night, headlights were taped up during the day to protect them from stone damage during daylight hours. They also carried a simple alarm clock which helped them keep track of the amount of time they had spent on the track. Many drivers also relocated the spare tyre from the engine bay or had an additional tyre next to the passenger seat which helped balance the weight of the car when cornering.

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