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Prototype Development Group getting a grip with RSRT
2015/5/28 11:30

PDGframe.jpgSACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (July 11, 2017) – Prototype Development Group has gained a grip on the NASA Western Endurance Championship (WERC) as they have returned to championship form with two class wins in 2017.  The three-time series champions have made big gains thanks to Ridetech and Ron Sutton Race Technology assisting their Factory Five GTM car.

Their suspension development work with RSRT began over a year ago where the use of Ridetech shock and suspension technology that allowed Prototype Development Group to experience more than three seconds per lap gained in testing at Buttonwillow Raceway.  That project led to PDG picking up two class wins out of the first three races of the year for the WERC in 2017.

A mechanical parts failure with the gearbox forced a DNF in the first round of this season.  Needing a huge comeback run, PDG turned its attention to Buttonwillow in late April.  They came out of the box in qualifying with a class track record 1:46.944 second lap that out-qualified their rival TruSpeed by 3.328 seconds.  TruSpeed campaigns a factory designed Porsche 911 GT3-type racer.

Saturday's race saw PDG finish a full lap ahead of their competition and second place overall en route to the maximum points for the class victory. 

"Our primary driver Carl Rydquist did a fantastic job qualifying (the car)," PDG crew chief True Tourtillott said.  "The qualifying session was held early in the day and conditions were right for the track record.  The Ron Sutton suspension gives us the ability to adjust to the conditions of the day and to manage the differences between the race tracks we run."

Describing Buttonwillow as a "high speed track that is rough but still has grip", Tourillott explained that Ridetech and RSRT have given his team a "huge leap" in what they are able to accomplish.  The team is building a book of notes on each track they attend with the new suspension package and the ease of adjustability gives them more time to work on other needs during a very condensed weekend schedule.

Following the April victory, the WERC took a few weeks off before returning to action on June 24th at Buttonwillow.  Rydquist was suffering from an illness while his teammate Mike Holland had not driven the car for more than six months with no experience handling the many improvements made to the car.  These challenges showed when the team only was able to muster third in class in qualifying. 

The three-hour endurance race went green at 6 p.m. local time in 108 degree temperatures.  Despite giving up a second a lap on individual best lap time, the new found grip and consistency was the difference maker.  The team gained a 12 second advantage on second place at their only scheduled pit stop.  Rydquist experienced heart rates between 150 and 170 beats per minute throughout much of the race and had to pace himself physically as well as pacing the car.  Fuel strategy necessitated another splash of fuel just before the race was finished but they had enough of a cushion to still take a comfortable class victory.

"(The consistency) has really freed us up to work on the car.  We don't have to worry about grip," Tourillott said.  "We're still interested in doing some more optimizing to the geometry.  As far as what's on the car, its dialed! We used to constantly fight for grip.  Now it just works!"

"We are spending a lot more time on aero and enhancing the tuning on the car.  We are developing a book on what the car needs.  A typical race weekend sees us only need one or two minor adjustments on the suspension from straight off the trailer.  It also gives us time to focus on strategy, too."

The Western Endurance Racing Championship has only two rounds remaining, with a six hour race at the high speed Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT in August followed by the season finale at the high grip Sonoma Raceway in October.  Prototype Development Group will likely need to win class at both races to overcome the early season DNF.

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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