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Prototype Development Group achieves big gains with RSRT & Ridetech
2015/2/26 10:50

Prototype Development Group achieves big gains with RSRT & Ridetech

SACRAMENTO, PDGframe.jpgCALIFORNIA (July 18, 2016) – California-based Prototype Development Group race team is a three-time Western Endurance Racing Series Champion, currently racing with Carl Rydquist from Sweden at the wheel. Despite their success, the team  yearned for more performance out of their Factory Five GTM car.  They  knew they needed a top level partner for their suspension development.  PDG found both with Ridetech and Ron Sutton Race Technology.

The partnership was sparked when PDG reached out to Ridetech for a partnership, with Ridetech's Bret Voelkel accepting the proposal and linking the team to Ridetech partner Ron Sutton.  Shortly after signing the partnership, PDG traveled to Buttonwillow Raceway for a test that produced eye-opening results.

"We had customized name brand race shocks and ran into a limit with the shock absorbers ability to control wheel motion," PDG crew chief True Tourtillott said.  "I was aware of Ridetech and Ron Sutton's expertise and their commitment to be a market leader.  Their product is multiple steps better than anything on the market.  I saw the success they were having in Pro-Touring and it sparked my curiosity in Ron and Ridetech to try to take it to a wheel-to-wheel road racing environment."


On May 27th, the team traveled to California's Buttonwillow Raceway to test their new Ridetech and RSRT package.  Buttonwillow Raceway is one of the bumpier tracks on the WERC circuit making it the perfect venue to put a suspension package through its paces. 

Driver Carl Rydquist was tasked with track testing each shock package the team had brought using one set of tires for an accurate comparison.  Rydquist went out and set a baseline time of 1:49.9 with PDG's current shock set-up.

The crew then installed the first set of shocks that Ron Sutton provided them.  The Ridetech Triple Adjustable shocks with "Track-Star" valving.  The shocks carry the same valving that Sutton has used for clients in the Pro-Touring arena.  Carl said the  PDG GTM car immediately had more grip with a best lap of 1:46.8, a shocking 3.1 seconds quicker than the baseline package.

"We haven't done of a lot of hardcore, fender-to-fender racing so we were happy to see the results.  It was an epic improvement!"  Ridetech's Bret Voelkel  said.  "I would not have predicted that level of improvement.  It is almost unheard of and really promising."

Buoyed by the progress PDG moved on to the second set of Ridetech Triple Adjustable shocks that had been provided to them.  This set of shocks carried RSRT's "Race-Star" valving and the performance was even more impressive.    The car gained another four tenths of a second for a total best lap of 1:46.8.  PDG had gained 3.5 seconds a lap in time simply by changing to Ridetech shocks  with Ron Sutton valving.

"The Ridetech solution has every bit of the performance of a high end shock at a price impossible to beat for a triple adjustable American-made product.  The additional value also comes from the support that Ron provides.  We couldn't be more pleased," Tourillot said.

Although Sutton provided the advice and the product, he too was pleasantly surprised by the amount of gains that PDG experienced.

"There are a lot of name brand shocks out there, with long histories, that are simply behind the technology curve," Sutton said.  "I knew the Ridetech shocks withmy valving would out perform the brand they had.  Buy even I was surprised that the  shocks went 3.1 seconds faster in a GT car & on a rough track.  People always ask me how much faster these shocks would be.  I couldn't quantify it before.  Here we had a proven car, with a good set-up and a consistent driver with great feedback.  Now we know how much quicker there are."

It was a benchmark day for all parties involved that had them encouraged for their future.  Prototype Development Group has a laser sharp focus to go for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill overall win.  That victory seems much more within their grasp with the improvements they have seen with Ridetech.

"It was not so much about lap time but that the driver has control of all four tires," Tourillot said.  "In endurance racing with multiple classes, the ability to drive anywhere with confidence while passing five to ten cars a lap is huge.  It is critical to be able to go off line and off camber."

Voelkel  expects the performance from the Buttonwillow test to be attention grabbing and attests the performance to several factors.

"A lot of people see the price and dismiss the product," Voelkel  said.  "But with our U.S. made product, you can leave the shocks on for years with little to no wear or durability issues.  The only way to be comfortable as a driver is if the car performs with consistency.  That driver confidence inspires speed."

For more information on Ridetech, visit them online at or call 812-482-2932

For more information on Ron Sutton Race Technology, visit them online at or call 916-834-8051


RideTech is celebrating its 20th anniversary by continuing to invent and manufacture innovative suspension and shock absorber solutions for a wide variety of vehicles ranging from street rods,  musclecars, and racecars… to advanced air suspensions for military and OEM projects. All products are designed and manufactured in their Jasper, Indiana facility


Ron Sutton Race Technology is a one-stop resource for winning car building or improving performance for Autocross, Road Course Track Days & Pro Touring Cars. Ron offers suspension, brake & aerodynamic optimization services, complete chassis/suspension designs, cutting edge suspension packages, consulting services, books, workshops & an online store with 600 brands & over 90,000 parts. 

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