Posts made in June, 2012

Optimum weight distribution

»Posted by on Jun 16, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | 2 comments

Optimum weight distribution

Every car has some percentage of its weight that is carried by the front tires, and the rest by the rears. Because the cornering balance of a car is a strong function of that weight distribution, it has a major influence on how well the car will handle, and how fast it can go around a race track. The optimum number for this critical handling influence is missing from most racing technology books, but Think Fast has some guidance on it. It’s tempting to make the usual snap judgment that 50% front is ideal, just because each tire carries the same amount of weight when it’s sitting still. But is that really the optimum? Numerous details about a particular car have an influence on the optimum weight distribution, but there are 3 key...

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Sonic Raptor

»Posted by on Jun 13, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | Comments Off

I’m officially impressed by this Win: It’s not the photo that I’m impressed with, but what the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is doing that amazes me. The white triangle extending from the wingtips actually is a cloud that is between two shock waves. The leading edge of the triangle is evidence of a shock wave where the local airspeed is accelerated above the speed of sound. The near-straight trailing edge of the triangle is evidence of another shock wave where the local airspeed drops below the speed of sound again. So, the F-22 is obviously flying at an airspeed that is very near Mach 1, or the speed of sound. The really amazing thing about this photo is the combination of near-sonic flight and a very large load factor, or “pulling...

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Deep Fried Donuts

»Posted by on Jun 12, 2012 in Current projects and Tech Notes | 2 comments

Deep Fried Donuts

If only I had taken my own advice… In Think Fast, I made this bold claim: “New tires are awesome, but they are only awesome once. The performance drop after the first race is more than any driver can overcome. There is no point in showing up for a race that you hope to win if new tires are not in the plan. You really don’t have a choice here. There are ways to budget-down every part of the event except for tires.” Yes, I made that mistake, and I won’t make it again. Racing tires are made from very soft rubber, so they grip the pavement amazingly well when they are new. But soft rubber gets harder with exposure to heat and mechanical strain. The tire rule for the Pacific Formula F Super Series is that you have to run the same set of tires...

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