Since its official opening on January 22nd 2010, FMX la Frontera Motocross Park had struggled with issues in its water delivery system. The system consisted of 2 large plastic tanks, fed by city water, a pump to move water from the holding tanks, and a water truck to spray the track 2-3 times during practice and races and also when the track was being prepped.
In particular, the track had been plagued with a non-working water pump. The current pump was the last in an apparent series of gasoline powered pumps that were intended to flow water from the holding tanks into the water truck at relatively high speed through a 3 inch hose. Despite substantial attention, the pump refused to start. When finally it started after 3 weeks and a tune-up, it ran for 30 seconds before the crankcase split with a sharp crack.
Besides track design, the two most important things are maintenance, or “prepping,” and watering. The track should be watered after prepping, and then again during both practice and races. To provide sufficient water, the tanks are filled well before the week-end, the track prepped at that time also, and then the tanks refilled for the week-end itself. A pump is usually used to move enough water to fill the truck in the relatively short time available. Thus a working pump is essential to the operation of the track.
Without a pump, thus without water, a track becomes both a dangerous and money-losing operation. The track becomes dangerous when dust flies up from dirt bike and quad tires, and from the desert winds. It clouds the path and obscures riders’ vision, thus increasing both the danger of accidents, and of more pile-ups that might occur because riders cannot see the impending hazard. The track loses money when riders think or feel that insufficient care is paid to track conditions, and take their business elsewhere.
After nearly five weeks of pump difficulties, engineer Brian Hill was able to redesign a pump supply system that was capable of moving adequate water in the necessary time, and at the same time, was a more stable design that eliminated the mechanical challenges inherent in the previous gasoline engine. There are still challenges to be overcome, but for now at least, the water pump is not one of them.