Q&A with Anthony Bongiovanni on "Why OPTIMA?"
Why are the rugged OPTIMA® Batteries important for a race car like yours?
"Our stock and super stock cars are running a lot on battery power (as opposed to the alternator) and the service is pretty severe. Basically the batteries get banged around a lot and we also need ones that can keep us going through multiple rounds without needing a charge. At the end of the day our batteries need to be strong mechanically and electrically and the OPTIMA’s really work for us in both regards."
Why are traditional and ultra-lightweight batteries not a good fit in this application?
"In our team’s experience, the severe service affects traditional and ultra-lightweight batteries in a negative way – we’ve had problems with them getting damaged and failing. Ultimately, they can’t handle the severe service we put them through and one even almost started a fire. What’s great about OPTIMA Batteries, too, is that they’re non-spillable in addition to providing a lot of power and endurance."
How have the electrical demands of modern race cars made a reliable power source crucial?
"With modern race cars like ours, we have multiple computers and ignition modules that require a lot more power down the track than the older race cars. In drag racing especially, you don’t have time to charge batteries for very long or even at all between rounds. So what that means is you really need batteries that hold a charge and provide consistent voltage – if the voltage drops the car doesn’t perform consistently and you could potentially lose a race because of that."
How does the flexible mounting of these batteries help you place weight in a drag car?
"In a race car like ours, you have very limited space so the flexibility OPTIMA Batteries offer is key. We have more options in where and how to mount the batteries to make the most weight transfer and traction and be able to get to the battery to charge it."
Has there been an instance where the battery has helped you win a race or avoid a problem?
"An OPTIMA battery is definitely one of those essential products that can make-or-break you at certain points in a race. Two recent instances come to mind where my battery was crucial in helping me succeed. First was the Dutch Classic at the end of last year – I was by myself and we ran seven rounds in total and four rounds in under an hour with very little time to charge. But my OPTIMA Battery kept it running consistently so I could win the race. The second was at a Gainesville Divisional Race where again, I was constantly running without a charge but it kept starting and giving me the power I needed in each round."
Do you have a maintenance ritual to ensure they are in tip-top shape for each pass?
"One of the best advantages of OPTIMA Batteries is that they are fairly maintenance free and you don’t have to do much to keep them in top shape except charge them when they’re not in use. We also use the OPTIMA Chargers and they seem to work the best because they provide a charge rate that tops the battery off without overcharging them. So in the long run, you get the most battery life over time."
How long have you been using OPTIMA Batteries and what convinced you switch?
"We used different brands early on about seven years ago, but suffered a number of failures at the worst possible time. OPTIMA Batteries provided a higher voltage for a longer period of time so we decided to make the switch. Since then, we haven’t had a failure yet!"
Read more about the benefits OPTIMA Batteries offer on FordNxt.com.