Manufacturing News

Racing towards engineering success

A family business is taking the big guns of racing head on, running on only design ingenuity and the smell of an oily rag. John Wainwright reports.

AS the second staging light is illuminated, the roar from the supercharged V8 engine almost seems to disappear. Only the beating of your heart can be heard.

The clutch is engaged and you are holding the car with just the brake. Time moves in slow motion as the lights seem to slowly run down the tree. As the last yellow light is illuminated, the throttle is planted and the brake is released and in the time it has taken to launch the car, the green light has come on.

The acceleration slams you back in the seat and your vision blurs. You hold your breath for the next 4.8 seconds as you unleash 8000 horse power through two Goodyear tyres. As the car streaks past the last timing lights, you reach for the release that will open the chutes and bring the rail to a halt from over 300 miles per hour. You have just travelled with Terry Sainty doing a mile in 4.8 seconds. The stats are mind blowing.

The twin magnetos deliver the equitant of a welding arc to each of the 16 spark plugs, destroying the plugs in just one run.

The engine under full throttle consumes 5 – 6 litres of nitro methane every second. That’s round 30 – 40 litres every run. The car reaches 100kph in 0.6 of a second, and the launch acceleration approaches 8G’s. To allow this engine to deliver all this awesome power on every run, requires it to be striped and rebuilt after every run, a tasks that will take 45 – 90 minutes to complete.

This is the cutting edge of motor development.

So what engine does Terry and the Sainty Racing Team use? Ford, GMH, or Chrysler? No it uses none of these manufacturers.

The first remarkable part of this story, is that the engine they use is designed and manufactured by Terry’s dad, Stan Sainty at his workshop in a quite street in the Western suburbs of Sydney

The engine starts out as a solid billet of aluminium and is machined on a Bemato CNC machine centre fitted with a 4th axis, purchased from Hare and Forbes.

Stan’s near totally blind brother Norm, using voice activated computer program, prepares the data for the CNC, required to produce the complex shapes and operations.

Measumax is one of the sponsors of this venture and also supply measuring equipment like the three leg imperial bore micrometer 4-6″ capacity that is used to insure the accurate measurement of the spun ductile iron sleeves and liners that are fitted into the aluminum block.

Norm Sainty wrote and produced the complex Cad Cam program that is designed to animate the valve and camshaft motion from input figures and then converts the data to a CNC program to machine the cam shaft

The crankshafts and camshafts are machined on a 4th axis from solid round bar and when completed are then sent away for grinding.

The heads start out as a billet of aluminum and are machined on the CNC machines using the 4th axis. All operations such as the mountings to take the overhead camshafts, the porting and chambers are machined in this operation.

Remarkably, apart from the support provided by Apollo Metals, Skips Fire Service, Speedflow Products, Gulf Western Oil, Hare & Forbes and Measumax, this race team runs on good old Aussie ingenuity and the smell of an oily rag.

For more information about the racing team, call Stan Sainty on 02 9636 4822. For more information about Hare and Forbes, visit the company’s website at or phone 02 9890 9111.

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