Many of you know Bruno Massel from the NHRA on FOX broadcasts that he works on through the racing year. He and I are the dudes on the E3 Spark Plugs pro mod show as well. Outside of that Bruno is a racer and not just a guy who shows up for the BBQ and beers, but a multiple time NHRA competition eliminator world champion. He has raced some killer combos over the years but the work that he and his dad put in developing the GM Ecotec four banger engines for competition purposes may be the coolest stuff of all. His Cobalt which he races regularly now has one of those little engines.
The little mill has about 130ci and a big pile of turbocharger bolted to it. This is not an easy combo to hustle down the track because of the fact that the car is light and the small displacement of the engine makes getting the turbocharger wound up and ready to fight. Bruno manually shifts the car going down the track but he does not use a clutch. Instead he uses one of the torque converter drive units that his dad Bruno Sr. developed and continues to work on to this day. The “Bruno-Drive” was the first product on the market that gave racers the benefit of a manual transmission with the positive attributes of a torque converter in front of it.
This car is a long way away from the days of winding a small block up to 9,000 rpm and stepping off the clutch. The process to get it staged alone will make your head spin and getting it down the track is not for the amateur crowd, either.
If you did not know about Bruno’s racing success, now you do. The guy knows what the heck he is talking about!