Brenthel Industries on Track in 2014
February 19, 2014
Newport Beach, CA
Brenthel Industries has a bevy of their vehicles racing in 2014 including their in-house entries of Jordan and Jonathan Brenthel. Jordan is racing the same truck that Jonathan took to the SCORE class 7200 championship, second place in the World Championship of Desert Racing and second place in the Dakar challenge last year. Jonathan is behind the wheel of a 6100 truck; he made his debut at the Best in the Desert Parker 425. Parker was a punishing race for just about everyone including Brenthel. Robert Ford took his Brenthel Industries 7200 truck to a podium finish in third place and Jordan Brenthel overcame some issues including a rollover to finish in 7th place. Jonathan Brenthel had a bad crash right off the start. Still getting accustomed to his brand-new 6100 truck, he hit a jump wrong off the start and barrel rolled the truck violently. “The biggest damage was to my ego,” says Jonathan, “Not the way I wanted to start my first race in the truck. Despite the severity of my crash, the truck performed precisely how we wanted it too.”
Those words might sound confusing to some but Jonathan was speaking not only as a driver but as an engineer, designer and part owner with Brother Jordan of the company that bears his name. What he meant was the truck did what it was supposed to do, after the crash. First, it protected the occupants; neither Jonathan nor his co-driver was injured at all. Secondly, the cage structure was undamaged. By design, parts that are easily replaced like bolts and suspension links may yield in a severe crash to dissipate energy. Some bolts were bent but they did not fail.
Brenthel Industries does extensive engineering during the initial design process to accomplish this. They use FEA, (finite element analysis) on the computer to simulate the forces applied to the chassis during a crash or just the normal abuse of racing. We’ve all heard the term “garbage in, garbage out” to describe computer-generated results. The analysis is only as good as the data that is put into the equation. It’s easy to just throw numbers at it using a huge “safety factor” as engineers refer to it. Building something that is both light and strong is no accident. In a crash like the one Jonathan endured there is a potential for the occupants to bang their limbs, components can be torn off, broken pieces can fly off and the chassis can be bent; none of that happened on the Brenthel Truck. “We are very happy with the way the truck handled the crash,” says Jonathan, “Safety has always been one of our top priorities. We want our trucks to perform and to provide strength and reliability. Being competitive takes a vehicle that will stand up to abuse over a long season. The driver has to trust his vehicle if they are going to push hard enough to run out front. Racing should also be fun; nobody wants to spend all their time fixing things in the shop.”
Brenthel Industries has state of the art design and engineering prowess but their fabrication abilities are on track as well. The vehicle they prepared for the legendary Dakar Rally was constructed in only 45 days. Assembly goes smoothly when things are designed properly to begin with. Brenthel Industries offers everything from a rolling chassis to turnkey vehicles ready to race; all benefiting from their extensive engineering.
“This is much more than a job for us, this is our life,” says Jordan Brenthel, “We do everything to the highest standards possible. Our fabrication follows the strict standards we impose during engineering and design. Parts are readily interchangeable from vehicle to vehicle. We have never experienced any failures but in the chance that you may need a replacement part, the new piece will bolt right on. We manage an extensive database dedicated to maintenance schedules, part longevity and life cycles of components. Racing is far too important to leave anything to chance.”
Brenthel Industries leads the way by design. Any job you have, big or small can benefit from Brenthel’s meticulous engineering and careful craftsmanship; give them a call today to discuss how they can help you accomplish your next project.
2014 Parker 425 Start Crash – Brenthel 6127
Race Photos By: Bryan Harrold for Bink Designs