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Physics of Car Racing

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This paper is a look at the physics behind car racing. We look look at how we can use physics to select tires, how physics can help predict how much traction we will have, how physics helps modern cars get there extreme speed, how physics lets us predict the power of an engine, and how physics can even help the driver find the quickest way around the track.

Tires are the most important part of race or any car for that mater. (Physics of Racing) After all they are the only thing that is contact with the ground! Tires work by having a high coefficient of friction. Some slicks have a friction coefficient grater then 1! (Physics of Racing) Typical normal street tires have coefficient of about .5 to .6 . In physics we learned that friction was equal to mew times the normal force. Since race cars are typical much lighter then normal cars, they use tricks to increase the downward force on the tires. Some drag tires run really low pressure, other drag cars tune the car to lift the front wheels to put all the weight on the rear tires. Indy cars use a wing to generate down force, an...

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All Physics equations are quoted from:
Physics for Scientices and Engineers 5th Edition
Serway and Beichner
Harcourt, Fort Worth 2000

Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving
The Skip Barber Racing School
Bentley Publishing, Cambridge 1997

How to Make Your Car Handle
Puhn, Fred
HPBooks, New York 1981

Chassis Engineering
Adams, Herb
HPBooks, New York, 1996

The Physics of Racing
Beckman, Brian

Auto Math Handbook
Lawlor, John
HPBooks, New York, 1992

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