Tech inspections went deep, and included testing fuel and CC’ing cylinder head combustion chambers.

After more than two weeks of testing and analysis, with consultations from Mazda and outside experts, the NASA technical inspection team completed its post-race technical inspections and finalized the results of the Toyo Tires Classic.

As a result of those inspections, Danny Steyn, who finished third overall is now the winner, followed by Preston Pardus in second and Peter Ensor in third.

Three legal cages from various competitor vehicles with wear marks showing use and ball wear touching pad surface area.

One car had an illegally modified camshaft, but the inspections eventually centered on the cages that retain the ball bearings in the outer CV joints on the axle half-shafts. The tech team measured the openings in the cages that were visually different, and discovered the measurements to be significantly different compared with the OEM reference samples and the common average measurement. Tech inspectors deemed that the cages, if modified, could measurably affect performance, which showed that it was a performance item.

Illegal cage machining samples.

The infractions are addressed in section 28.1.10 in Appendix C of the NASA CCR, which covers “Specified Measurement.”

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“Whenever the manufacturer or these rules do not specify a measurement, the common average measurement will be used. This common average measurement shall be determined by either 1) calculating a mean average of at least three measurements from the corresponding parts found on other vehicles, or 2) the series technical administrator will make a determination based on any other reasonable method, providing that the data, system, or logic that was used be made known to the parties involved. The second option is only permitted under circumstances where option number one becomes impractical, as determined by the series Race Director.”

Tech inspections went deep, and included testing fuel and CC’ing cylinder head combustion chambers.

The case was ruled using all the evidence the competitors submitted and some outside evidence collected by NASA Executive Director Jerry Kunzman in hopes of helping their case. In the end, the penalties of disqualification stood.

“By the rule of “common average measurement,” even given as much of the benefit of the doubt, all three competitors’ journals did not meet with the common average measurement, and therefore were deemed illegal,” wrote NASA Executive Director Jerry Kunzman in his response to the drivers’ executive appeals. “I worked many days studying the material, talking to reliable sources, and doing math. I also took the time to grill the lead tech inspector for anything I could catch him on to create the benefit of the doubt on your behalf. I am sincerely sorry to see this outcome. Although, I believe it’s correct, it nevertheless pains me to have to issue a ruling that will have such an impact on the lives of those involved.”

For more information on and photos of the tech findings, visit:

https://nasaspeed.news/misc/summary-of-spec-miata-tech-findings-from-2018-nasa-championships/

Image courtesy of Brett Becker