Tag Archives: speedway

IndyCar manufacturer and RV innovator collaborate on carbon fiber RV line

RV innovator Global Caravan Technologies and IndyCar chassis manufacturer Dallara have announced a collaboration to build the first carbon fiber-constructed line of recreational vehicles. The collaboration includes Dallara’s expertise and advice, which include their decades of building chassis that have been crossing the finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1997. dallara-indycar-conc-19w                                                                                            (photo courtesy trackforum.com)

Called the “CR-1 Carbon”, the line will first include travel trailers and fifth wheels, and then motorhomes and specialty vehicles, according to a press release. The first models will be unveiled in December at the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana as part of the Performance Racing Industry’s annual trade show held in Indianapolis that week.

GCT promises new floorplans and options new to the RV industry. The CR-1 Carbon lines will be meant with the luxury minded and long term camper in mind, boasting full height closets, large walk through master baths with oversize showers, washer & dryer, and high end flooring and paneling.

The exterior will apparently open some eyes with patent-pending designs and body lines that will be new to the RV industry. Unique systems will include DryCamp, which is an off-grid power system, and MyControl, a power management system that completely controls the RV’s system wirelessly via an iPad. Due to the light weight of carbon fiber, fuel mileage is expected to improve up to 100% compared to similar sized units.

523a6908e4b002193858945fGCT’s braintrust has a wealth of experience in the RV industry and the business world with CEO Charles Hoefer and President Harrison Ding. Hoefer’s family history includes his father, who was a co-founder of Dutchmen RV and Four Winds RV. Ding’s business experience includes management positions at both Cisco and IBM.

Says Ding, “Our product strategy is tailored for market acceptance in North America, Europe, and Australia, and also capitalizes on the high growth opportunity in China, where RV sales may approach the US in the coming decade.”

Says Hoefer, “Our products meet specific needs, such as remote camping, tailgating, full-timing, high security, and connectivity. We know consumer interests vary, and we can build one-of- a-kind and specific-use products with automotive-level testing and validation.”
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Aside from Dallara, GCT has also partnered with other companies, both from the automotive and aerospace industry.

“For Dallara, helping GCT to design RVs applies our strengths in composites, learned from decades of experience in
racing car competition,” says Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti said. “It is fitting that Dallara is lending our advice and expertise to such a transformative project.”
GCT appears to be taking their collaboration with Dallara seriously.  GCT has opened a temporary office directly across the street from the Dallara factory. With my home base being literally just a couple of minutes from the Dallara factory, I hope to be able to view the CR-1 Carbon after it debuts in December.
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Where the actual units will be built is not yet known, as the sign on the GTC door states “temporary”. With the hub of the RV industry being just 3 hours to the north in the Elkhart, Indiana region, that would seem to be the logical location, but I hope to find out that info soon. And although I don’t know what size their trailers will be and thus might not even fit into our theme of 20′ or less, I found this to be some interesting news since 1) I’m a mile away from Dallara, and 2) this very well could be the future of construction methods for RVs of all types.
Oh, and for price? MSRP for all lines will range anywhere from $160,000 to customized units to the tune of half a million dollars. I look to have future posts on this topic, so as always, stay tuned, and as always, thanks for reading.

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Relay For Life review

When we left you last week, we were on the verge of participating in our first Relay For Life. Friday after work, we stopped by the relay venue to get an idea where our team’s site was and where we’d park our Scotty for the weekend. The officers of the Speedway Police Department did a fine job of leaving us a nice spot between the pop-up awnings and tent to park for the weekend. We returned a couple of hours later to set up shop. There was one other participant there for the evening who was providing security for the venue, since most of the 35+ teams had a tent and/or awnings set up, but no one else was camped out Friday night.

With nothing much to do after getting our site set up, we decided to head down to Sam’s Club to pick up a memory foam mattress topper for the Scotty, since we had a little extra in our camping budget and have meant to get one for a while. Wow, what a difference that 2 1/2″ of foam did for my sleep! Look for a “Gadget Review” on that later. After a late night walk over to Speedway’s Main Street for some frozen yogurt at Yogulatte, we called it a night, as we knew we’d need a lot of rest prior to the Relay.

At 6am, we were up & ready to go. Speedway officer Rod Ferguson was the first to show up with some ice for the massive coolers holding a massive amount of liquids for our team and for those participants wishing to buy for a small donation to the Relay. Officer Ferguson was quite impressed with the Scotty and after giving him the grand tour, he was more than happy to oblige with a small request I had for a photo…

The Relay began shortly after 10am Saturday and that’s when the fun began. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up with my wife to do this, but I’m sure glad I did. It had a festival atmosphere to it, and with Speedway being a town of just over 12,000 residents, it wasn’t often you didn’t see someone you knew. The Speedway PD team poked a little fun at themselves with the name of their tent where we served up some milk and legendary Long’s donuts in the morning and some grillable meats in the afternoon.

 Every hour there was something going on while the hundreds of walkers were mobile. Our group was busy selling food & drink, as well as “arresting” unsuspecting participants who were issued “warrants” for $5 by friends & family members. As each criminal was found, they were brought back to our site in handcuffs by one of Speedway’s finest and thrown in the Speedway Town Jail where they stayed until $5 bail was posted. It was a HUGE hit and our officers couldn’t keep up with the number of warrants issued.

As sunlight diminished for the day, the number of walkers didn’t. It created a rush of diners looking for more hotdogs, burgers, and brats we had on the grill. Luminarias were lit in memory of loved ones who either lost their fight to cancer or were fighting it. The hundreds of luminarias along the 2 tenths of a mile course had the names of those loved ones on them, as well as personal messages to them. There were a lot of emotional moments Saturday night, from the lap the cancer survivors took together to the solemn end of the Luminaria Ceremony where everyone shut down their campsite lights and watched as hundreds walked along the path of luminarias as a bagpipe player played “Amazing Grace”.

I managed to stay up the whole night. Everyone on our team either went home for a few hours of sleep, or in my wife’s case, found slumber in the Scotty. I found I needed a shot of 5 Hour Energy around 2:30am to keep me awake, which was my goal,  in honor of those who are in a fight for their lives who know that cancer never sleeps. I ended up walking nearly 2 hours off & on throughout the night (a little less than 4 miles), and decided to call it quits just before sunrise.

We started packing up shortly after 8am and after the closing ceremonies at 9am, we were on our way for the long one mile trek back home. The Speedway Relay For Life (at last count) brought in over $65,000, which was a record for this event. I can’t tell you what a fulfilling experience it was to participate in the Relay. As my father has battled prostate and bladder cancer for the past 10 years (doing well right now!), this event was personal for me, as it was for my wife, whose mother has battled breast cancer over the years. Any of you reading this who’ve participated in a Relay For Life know firsthand what an emotional event it is. And if you’ve never participated, I highly encourage you to check out the Relay For Life website and join a team or start one of your own in your area. You’ll walk away from it with a whole new perspective on life.

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Relay For Life

This weekend marks the annual American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life in the Town of Speedway, Indiana. This will mark the first time my wife and I will participate in this rapidly growing event.

As members of the Speedway Police Department‘s citizens academy, we’re joining the relay team consisting of officers of the department. Since the relay is a 24 hour walk at a local park, the various teams set up campsites on the grounds, meant to serve as a home base where they can sit, sleep, eat, and socialize with their fellow teammates. As residents of Speedway grateful to our teammates who put their lives on the line every day for us, we’re upgrading their campsite this year by offering up our Serro Scotty as home base for the department’s team. So instead of the pop-up tents and sleeping bags, they’ll have an air conditioned oasis to crash for what is expected to be a warm weekend in the mid 80’s.

This promises to be one of the best camping trips we’ve had, although our campsite is just a mile away from home. Cancer is a 400lbs gorilla that has likely affected all of us in one way or another. If you’d like to participate by a modest donation to our team, we’d really appreciate the gesture. Donations big or small can be made even after the event. Just follow the link here to our team’s page. I’ll have a full report later this weekend following the event.

Thanks for your support of this event and as always, your support of The Small Trailer Enthusiast.

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