Ed Pink Racing Engines (EPRE) produces the power in the Team ASE/Oakley/Pink Toyota midgets. Ed Pink and his team at EPRE build the compact, yet powerful Toyota Racing Development engines, which are normally aspirated with four-cylinders, and measure 166 cubic inches (2721 cc). The 250-pound engine is based on Toyota's Phase 9 V8 motors previously used in NASCAR competition.
For over half a century, Engine Builder Ed Pink has developed and built racing engines for virtually every form of motorsports, from Indy cars to sports cars to drag racing, Silver Crown, sprint cars, and midgets. Known as "The Old Master" for his vast knowledge of producing race-winning engine performance, Ed is at the center of Ed Pink Racing Engines (EPRE), which Pink opened in 1961. He later moved the business to its current location in Van Nuys, California, in 1965.
From the beginning, Ed–a product of the Southern California post World War II Hot Rod Era, racing first at the dry lakes and then moving to drag strips–and his company became known for an obsession for precision, quality, and producing racing engines that were as close to perfect as possible. From the early 1960s through the mid 1970s, Ed was famous for his blown fuel drag race engines. His winning reputation led to such famous slogans as "Think Pink."
Also in the '70s, EPRE branched into other forms of motorsports, producing the same legendary engine performance in Can-Am and Formula 5000 racing. In 1977, when Cosworth brought their DFV Formula 1 engine to the US, EPRE was heavily involved in the conversion of the engine from its naturally aspirated gasoline burning specification to the turbocharged, methanol burning engine that would rule the Indianapolis 500 for the next 10 years. Until the new era of engine leases by manufacturers to teams, EPRE focused its talents on Cosworth Indy engines.
The late 1980s to early 1990s were devoted to sports car racing, which included the Jim Busby Racing BFGoodrich Porsche 962 engine program involving the refining and building of the powerful Porsche turbocharged, air-cooled, flat six-cylinder endurance racing engines; then came multiple sports car racing engine development programs for Pontiac. These programs encompassed a variety of engine combinations from the carbureted V6 powering a Trans-Am model to the fuel-injected all-aluminum V8 engines that powered the Spice prototype chassis.
In the mid 1990s, Nissan brought its Infiniti Indy engine program to EPRE. Despite many challenges, the EPRE-developed Infiniti Indy engine won its first event in 2000.
During the early '90s, EPRE produced a wide variety of racing engines, including USAC Silver Crown/sprint car and Midget racing. This led to the association with Steve Lewis and the famous #9 cars. The relationship of EPRE and Nine Racing created a dominant package in USAC Midget Racing that continues to this day.
Ed and the team at EPRE worked with Ford Racing to develop race- and championship-winning engines for the Nine Racing program for 10 years, as well as race-wining engines for other teams in midget racing. EPRE then developed and created the midget race engine used by Nine Racing with engineering support from TRD.
While EPRE has designed, built, and dyno tested the famed #9 engines since the early '90s, things have changed over the years. The way it works now is EPRE has a pool of midget engines that belong to TRD. All the engines are the same, and the company has engines for various track types. All week long, EPRE prepares those engines, along with many other types of engines. EPRE works closely with TRD to prepare the Toyota midget engines for TRD teams, including Nine Racing.
A big accomplishment for EPRE came with designing and building the first TRD midget engine. Basically, TRD gave them their NASCAR cylinder head and had EPRE design and build an engine to fit the cylinder head--so Ed and his team built a whole engine around the TRD cylinder head off their NASCAR engine. From the drawing table to the first test at the race track was about 10 months. The first race that ran with it, against the best in the business, was Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway in 2006 with driver Dave Steele in the #91 Team ASE/Oakley/Pink Toyota midget. It set the fast time of the race and won the race, a huge accomplishment for a brand-new engine and a testament to the hard work involved. Since then, the engine has been working well, and it gets better and better as EPRE continually does development work to make the engine last longer and run better.
Ed became involved in race engine building because he's always liked mechanical things. While race engine building is certainly a high-stress job, Ed hasn't yet retired because he still finds it fun and believes there are still challenges out there. All these years later, "The Old Master" looks forward to it each day with the same passion as he had some 50 years ago, and each new victory is a demonstration of his talent.