MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: How does a Race Car differ from a regular car?

Date: Tue Feb 6 22:23:13 2001
Posted By: Arnold Anderson, Staff, Tribology/Friction systems, retired (Ford Scientific Laboratory)
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 980459076.Eg

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.

Current Queue | Current Queue for Engineering | Engineering archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Engineering.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.