Laboratory results are nice – but what happens in the real world is something very much different. ATI Performance Products is and remains at the forefront of the high performance industry because of it’s rather unique approach within Motorsports….
Originally established some 50 years ago by founder and President Jim Beattie, the present and the future for the Maryland-based company is now being charted by Jim’s son; J.C. Beattie (the CEO). J.C. who is an accomplished drag racer in his own right, does stand out within the sport as his company continues to design, develop and manufacture a multitude of high performance drivetrain parts with particular emphasis on transmissions and converters for competition.
In a rather unconventional approach within the industry, JC and his skilled supporting staff utilize primarily very real and hard core data within their research and development programs as they continue to refine and add too their impressive product lines.
Because most of their products are marketed to Sportsman orientated drag racing classes – ATI Performance Products makes vast use of not one but two modern day drag racing vehicles. Both are basically rolling test laboratories and both are very impressive – including a 2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car for Stock eliminator and more recently a 2012 COPO Camaro Super Stocker.
“Our Dodge is a 370 CID 6.1 litre model – number 47 off the production line,” J.C. revealed. “We got it a bit late in 2010 but it was the 5th or 6th Drag Pak to actually hit the track. We run it a lot in testing and at last check we’ve made some 600+ passes with it. It’s not uncommon for us to use it to test 3 or more transmissions and converters in single day.”
“We’ve been running our COPO since about August of 2012,” he added. “It’s in fact car #008 off the assembly line and it’s a supercharged 327 CID model which produces an amazing (to me) 1200 HP. After shelling out about $97,000 for it we’ve basically been flogging it ever since. Because it’s so high powered — it’s proven to be a terrific and reliable tool. With it you can find out rather quickly if there are any weak links for our applications.”
If there is single philosophy for ATI Performance Products it’s probably goes something like this. While lab development and computer simulation in the high performance industry is the norm — they specialize with real time proof.
“While we certainly do a lot of high tech computer work first – proving that theory on the track is always the challenge,” he continued. “Something can look great on paper or in a simulation but then when you go to do it – maybe not. Drag racing is a sport that features racers that are never really happy because even on a near perfect run — there is always room for improvement. That’s the nature of the game. And there are also a lot of drag racers out there that don’t particularly like to work on their cars per sae — so we focus hard on that aspect too. We use our experience at the shop and at the track to make that easy.”
“One of the most important things to me is the fit. I absolutely hate it when a racer has to modify a part to make it fit or send it out for repairs – really that should never happen. Will the car last rounds and at the same time remain consistent? That’s an ongoing question and why we spend a lot energy up front with our own cars to scrutinize our own parts – so we can make the proper recommendations in the end. Education is the one constant in drag racing — but education is never free — so we do it so our customers don’t have to.”
While Beattie and company have no immediate or serious plans to actually do it — there exists some interest for eventually having a modern day super car “trifecta”. With development for Mopar and Chevrolet applications well under way at ATI Performance Products — the speculation of doing something similar for the “Blue Oval” does exist.
“We don’t have any plans as such — but a Cobra Jet would be neat and could help again,” J.C. winked. “The problem is there isn’t a middle class between Stock and Super Stock. But maybe there might be some possible applications for it in Top Sportsman or Competition eliminator – and that’s something we could consider.”
For more background information on ATI Performance Products visit their website: HERE
Photos and posting by : Bruce Biegler