This is my racecar, a Royale RP24, designed by Rory Bryne in the mid 1970s. Rory Byrne as since moved on to design the Benetton and Ferarri Formula One cars which Michael Schumacher drove to win the World Drivers Championship.
This is the motor I put together for the 2004-2005 seasons. This motor was assembled under the personal supervision of Tom Rust. Most drivers, myself included, prefer to have a professional shop build and test their motors. But some drivers have also been successful building their own motor. After some bad luck with a shop built motors, I decided to build one myself. Its something every driver should do, if only to remind themselves why they have a shop build them. It requires a lot of effort and attention to detail. In the end cost is about the same, but there is certain piece of mind that comes with having a motor built and tested by an experienced shop.
In the 80s and 90s Tom had an shop at Sears Point and played a major roll in the success of Formula Ford Racing in California. Tom had built some of my previous motors, and when he heard I planned to build my own motor, he offered his services to help me assemble it. 1 So along with providing some critical parts, Tom spent a couple of November cold Saturdays in my garage. It was great opportunity and I learned a lot.
Just before Christmas 2003 we did the dyno testing at Buddenbaum Fabrication in Palo Alto. John Buddenbaum is a fellow racer who fabricates a lot of parts for my Royale. He also builds his own motors.
Prior to starting the motor John Buddenbaum makes some final preparations as Tom Rust looks on.
Here Tom runs the dyno, breaking in the motor.
It was a great experience building this motor. I handled all the components and saw to it that they were properly prepared. The block began as a used stock unit which I had personally picked out from a collection at Dave Bean Engineering, along with some connecting rods(1 In order to save on shipping I drove to San Andreas in California's Gold Country where Dave Bean Engineering is located). Although the head was prepared locally, the machine shop block was performed by a shop in Livermore. Everything took much longer than I had expected to complete. Although I started in April of 2003, the motor was not completed until just a few days before Christmas. So when it was time to rebuild the motor at the end of 2005, I had it sent to a pro shop. The motor was sent out in late November and completed in mid January.