By Aaron Waldron
Elliott Boots' mechanic, Mick Cradock, posted a photo on Facebook around 11:30 AM CT this morning that showed the multi-time European Champion huddled over his Kyosho MP9 as the British racer continues preparing for the upcoming IFMAR Worlds in Las Vegas. The caption is what tipped me off that there was something special going on:
"Catching Elliott preparing one of the specially designed engines the World's Team Drivers will be running."
So yeah - clearly, this photo wasn't an accident. I reached out to a source who I knew would know more info (who asked to remain anonymous, because obviously) - and the first thing he said was "that wasn't supposed to get out, but it's out."
He went on to explain that the engine is "highly modified" by REDS founder Mario Rossi, with all-new porting to create power and mileage characteristics substantially different than anything REDS currently sells - though team drivers like Boots, Ryan Maifield and Cole Ogden have already won races this year with engines that share some of the concepts of what they'll be using in Vegas. The engine will also feature a specially designed head.
Though enough engines will be available for all REDS Racing drivers in Vegas - not just the factory pros - it's not likely they'll ever see production afterward. When asked if the engine was based on a current production engine, my source laughed and said, "Mario won't tell anyone."
That's all the info I got out of him. The picture isn't much help, either.