HARRISBURG, NC : Last week at the annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. Legend Cars International showed off the new front suspension add-on to current and future Bandolero race cars. While, there is no official price or release date announced at this time, the upgrade follows the Legend Car FZ09 engine as a focus to more modernization of INEX race cars to the technology of today. With the issues the announced spring release of the FZ09 last year, and the subsequent issues that followed to delay it, I believe that the new Bandolero suspension needs to be allowed after the point season in 2019.
All current Bandolero race cars will be able to easily add on the front suspension as it just bolts on to the current chassis without any modiications needed. The kits will use the same Bilstein shocks and the rear springs that are on the current Bandolero also on the front, so teams that already have extra springs will not need to make that additional $300 purchase with the kits.
INEX did say that the new suspension kits would be available in the spring of 2019, but here is a valid reason to postpone that release until after the 2019 point season.
The 2019 INEX point season officially gets underway on February 11th with the 21st Annual Winter Nationals week at Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida. The remainder of the season begins on March 1st and runs through October 6th at all other INEX sanctioned tracks around North America. Teams are currently going through their off-season rebuilds in preparation of racing next year, plus fine-tuning setups under the current chassis configuration.
If the suspension is released sometime in the spring, or during the point season in 2019, it will bring about a similar issue as the FZ09 did in 2018. Due to unforseen part issues, the FZ09 was delayed until the fall, so teams were not having to debate which to race. The Bandolero kits will be in high demand and there is no guarantee that enough could be made available in just a few months, especially with the shocks coming from Germany.
A simple solution, as to not affect current Bandolero teams that are looking ahead to competiting for the 2019 INEX national championships, is to push back the release of the kits until mid-summer for testing and development purposes for teams. By not allowing them in competition on track until after the 2019 INEX point season would be a better start time for on track competition. This gives teams the offseason gong into 2020 to get familiar with the new suspension, since current set-ups will become obsolete.
This debate can be tied to when INEX released the two-way communication for all classes mid-season in which most tracks and traveling series declined to adopt. Looking ahead as track’s begin their 2019 seasons the same decision will possibly be made for the Bandolero suspension and not be adopted as legal until more infomation and race data can be collected.
However, in my opinion, the Bandolero front suspension is long overdue as a reality. Just like with the FZ09, INEX is coming around to the current platforms of racing and technology and these kits will put the Bandolero more inline with the Legend car and further away from the “giant” go-kart comparision. These new suspension kits will make the Bandolero more appealing to racers looking to move out of go-karts and race a car with a full suspension and good horsepower. The current Bandoleros are all severe rear-steer to make them fast and I know of several teams that have spent all of 2018 building their notebook to go after a championship in 2019.
I love the idea of adding the front suspension to these race cars, but if released in the spring of 2019, let’s not make them race eligible until after the INEX point season.
This is an opinion-piece written by Brian Nagy and in no way represents the opinions of LegendsNation, its employees or any other the supporters.