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In His Own Words: Guy Cosmo Testing the No. 8 B-K Motorsports Mazda-Powered Courage
Guy Cosmo 4-11-2005
Braselton, Ga. - Hello ALMS fans! My name is Guy Cosmo, and my teammate Jamie Bach and I are the drivers for the recently-announced No. 8 B-K Motorsports Sportsbook.com, Mazda Rotary-Powered, LMP2 Courage. What you are about to read is a personal journal I've written during the past few days as I embarked on the next step in the creation of this exciting new program: The shake-down of the race car at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit in France.
To start things off, I'll provide some background on myself and the program. B-K Motorsports announces during the weekend of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring just recently, with an American Le Mans Series LMP2 racing program. Sportbook.com, the world's largest online gaming and gambling Web site, has signed with B-K Motorsports as the premier marketing partner in our program, and we couldn't be luckier to have a more enthusiastic and excited group of people joining forces with us. B-K Motorsports and Sportsbook.com together are making history as this program marks the Mazda's return to endurance racing, after nearly 15 years, with their famed Rotary engine power! We will be running 3-Rotor evolution of the highly popular Mazda Renesis engine found in the street-prod Mazda RX-8. Strap that motor into the successful Courage C65 LMP2 chassis that we've ordered and bolt on some Goodyear tires for the season, and we are ready to rock!
But first we must build the car. This whole program was literally signed and announced a mere three weeks ago, and since Sportsbook.com is the presenting sponsor of the Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta next week at Road Atlanta, you can imagine we've been a little busy getting the program off the ground. So busy in fact, that Courage and two of our star personnel from B-K have been in France, sleepless for two weeks straight, making sure we'll have the hottest ride successfully ripping laps at Road Atlanta next week. The next step: Jump on a plane to France and shake the car down at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit!
Jump on a plane I did â€" from Los Angeles to Paris for an 11-hour, non-stop flight. Ughâ€¦I almost think we should have flown around the globe the other way! Unfortunately, I couldn't sleep. I did manage to watch the movie, "The Incredibles" and highly recommend seeing it if you haven't. That, and some good music on the way, and I'm now in Paris. Off the plane and onto a train to go see my automobile, and I did manage to sleep on the train. It's amazing how quiet the French TGV is, and how fast they are -- Le Mans in just an hour and a half.
Upon my arrival at the Le Mans train station was Karine from Courage to take me to the Courage factory. Completely exhausted and zombie-like, I still was very excited to finally get there and see the progress of the car. This is basically the biggest announcement of my life, and I cannot tell you enough how exciting it is to be chosen as one of the drivers for such a phenomenal program. Needless to say, I've been smiling nonstop since the announcement at Sebring.
When we arrived at Courage I was immediately introduced to everyone in the office and given the short tour. They've got some very cool pictures on the walls of cars they've built in the past and raced at Le Mans. I was then taken into the shop where three of those beautiful historic Courage race cars sat on the left, and then I met the man himself â€" Yves Courage. What an incredibly nice gentleman, and what history he's got! The shop was very well organized and people were busy everywhere. You could tell that everyone was really focused and diligently working on different aspects of the assembly of this car.
I walked further through the shop and found Mike Williams and Ron Roland, B-K Motorsports' two pros who have been heading up the program and working with Courage in their factory for almost 10 days now. The race car was there too â€¦ very cool! There sat the tub of the C65 chassis.
I walked past the cockpit, complete with enclosed fuel cell, battery box, brake bias adjuster and sequential shift lever. The outside of the cockpit had the carbon fiber floor pans on each side, one with a huge radiator and the other with a huge oil cooler (as history has proven, these rotary engines need lots of cooling). Both sides were complete with the cooling tunnels, again of full carbon fiber, leading up to the radiators, along with the wheel well guards made of Kevlar. I headed toward the rear of the car and there it was: the three-rotor Mazda Renesis engine. It's amazing how small and compact that engine is, and how low it sits in the car. The rotary-specific custom front engine mount was already in place along with all the cooling lines, wiring and side-rails that will connect the rear bell housing to the chassis.
What's important to remember at this point is that this program was initiated not-yet three weeks ago. SpeedSource Engineering did a great job getting the developmental 3-rotor together, and it had arrived in France less than a week ago. You can't stress a rotary engine like you can the block of a V8 engine, so mounting gets tricky. This thing is so much smaller than a piston engine, everything is different. Custom engine mounts had to be designed front and rear; the rear engine mount, extremely impressive, had just come off the CNC machine the day before. An awful lot of work and redesign took place to fit the three-rotor to the chassis and so far it all looks great.
Just beyond the chassis in the next bay sat the entire bell housing and transaxle assembly. All we were waiting for was the flywheel and clutch assembly to be finished up, and then the rear of the car could be bolted on and begin the next step of completion.
That will all be described in the next part of my journal, which will post on the ALMS Web site in the next few days. In the meantime, we are all hard at work to get the car completed, and I can't wait to get this baby out on track.
Thanks for reading. More to come!
The Sportsbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta is scheduled to start at noon April 17. It will be broadcast on CBS from 1-3 p.m., and American Le Mans Series Radio will have live flag-to-flag coverage at www.americanlemans.com. Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 849-RACE or logging on to www.roadatlanta.com.
European style....American attitude!