F3's Mark I Takes Checkered Flag at Thunderbolt

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F3 MotorSports' Mark I Steering Damper posted its first win with the Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers Motorsports. Drivers Ty Howard and Mike Himmelsbach gave the device high marks in reducing head-shake and tank-slappers on the 2.25-mile course.

We really benefited from the wide range of adjustability the Mark I provides. It eliminated head-shake on many of the turns that would commonly produce it.

Six months after its debut at the International Powersports Expo in Indianapolis in February, the F3 MotorSports' Mark I Steering Damper took the checkered flag atop the Aprilia Tuono 1000R during a Labor Day race held at Thunderbolt Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.

The race was the penultimate event before the final 8-hours at Daytona race in the SunTrust MOTO-ST Series. ApriliaUSA/Lloyd Brother Motorsports riders Ty Howard and Mike Himmelsbach go into Daytona with a 16-point lead in the SST championship series.

Himmelsbach had accolades for the new 2.25-mile, 14-turn Thunderbolt Raceway and its technical track. Opened in June, the motorsports complex features road, oval and off-road racing venues. Equally impressive was the performance of F3's Mark I Steering Damper, according to Howard. "We've been testing the new steering damper all year and it is now really making a big difference in how easy the bike is to ride over long stints," Howard said.

Himmelsbach agreed. "We really benefited from the wide range of adjustability the Mark I provides. It eliminated head-shake on many of the turns that would commonly produce it."

The Mark I uses magnetorheological fluid technology developed for use on carrier-based U.S. Navy aircraft to immediately adjust to forces on the front-end, eliminating virtually all instances of head-shake and most conditions that cause tank-slappers.

Magnetorheological fluids are actively controlled fluids that change viscosity almost instantly and automatically respond to dynamic conditions using signals from electronic sensors and microprocessors. Coupled within a closed loop control system to sense and react to shock and vibration in less than one millisecond, the damper attenuates front-end vibration to the point it is not noticeable, providing more control in the turns and allowing the rider to roll the power on sooner coming out of turns.

"We are happy to be working with F3 MotorSports in bringing a product to the road racing and sport-bike market that provides a better, safer performance for our drivers," said David Lloyd, President, Lloyd Brothers MotorSports, Inc.

Odilo Vazquez, F3 MotorSports President, echoed Lloyd's enthusiasm. "We are extremely fortunate to be partnered with such a talented and knowledgeable racing team," he said, noting that Himmelsbach was the first rider to track test the Mark I. "The collaborative relationship we have is enabling us to manufacture a product that will not only meet, but surpass riders' expectations."

F3 MotorSports is a proud sponsor of the Aprilia USA/Lloyd Brothers MotorSports racing team. For more information on the Mark I Steering Damper, visit http://www.f3motorsports.net or contact Ken Rosenbaum, General Manager at 973.442.2290.

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Kathryn Lesko

Ken Rosenbaum
F3 MotorSports
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