|MadSci Network: Engineering|
You did not indicate what type of race car, Nick, so my answer may differ from what you want. First of all, all vehicles are designed for some particular function. Cars are made to carry people, trucks to carry goods, and so on. But you know that you can carry many things in the trunk of a car—even more in a station wagon. In fact, some station wagons can carry more than a small truck. So it is with race cars—some have greater acceleration, other have higher top speeds or are faster in turns. How the race cars differ depends on the type of racing and the rules. With some types of racing, the rules allow cars that are highly modified. For example, ‘funny cars’ are drag racers that have thin fiberglass shells. They only look like passenger cars. ‘Stock cars’ have much of the original car parts, but have been specially modified in many ways. Some racing requires the cars to be virtually identical to cars from the showroom, but this is rare. Racing places high loadings on the suspension, steering, brakes, tires, and drive train. These often are modified to improve performance, durability, and safety. People race to win, so they want their cars to have top performance for the type of racing that they do. Compromises must be made, usually trading durability for performance. The URL’s that follow give the race care rules for several different types of race cars. You might want to look at these to get a better idea about how race cars differ from truly stock cars. http://www.northstarspeedway.com/2001rulz.html http://www.scca-sopac.org/srx7rules.html http://www.vintagedrive.com/2000rules.html http://www.icerace.com/2000rule.htm http://www.lebanonvalley.com/01Rules/prostock.htm
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