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Use of Math in Auto Racing Essay

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     Mathematics is found everywhere in life and work and auto racing is

no exception. There are many applications of math in racing.

The purpose of racing is to win and in order to do that there must be a lot of

math involved. If you don’t use math and use it correctly then you will not win.

Mathematics is involved in racing in two ways, the car setup and scoring an

measurements. The car setup involves tire pressure, down force, wedge,

aerodynamic Drag, camber, track bar and valance. The scoring system also uses math.

In addition to scoring math is also used to measure different racing related

subjects such as car weight, gas mileage time interval, qualifying, and the track

characteristics.

     Tire pressure is used as a setup tool that is akin to adjusting spring rates in

the vehicles suspension. Increasing the air pressure in the tires raises the spring rate

in the tire itself and changes the vehicles handling characteristics. In order for

optimal performance the teams must know the proper p.s.i ( Pressure per square inch)

for a certain tire on a certain track for a certain air temperature.

     Math is also used in measuring the “downforce.” Downforce is the air pressure

traveling over the surface of the car. This air pushes the car downwards which creates

the term downforce. The greater the psi the greater the downforce which creates better

tire grip for higher speeds through turns.

     Wedge is another racing term that relies on math. Wedge refers to the relationship

from corner to corner of the weight of the car. The weight on any corner of the vehicle

affects the weight of the other three corners in direct proportion. The wedge determines

how the car handles by either stiffening the wedge or loosening it up.


     Aerodynamic drag is another math related racing factor. A number that is a

coefficient of several factors indicates how well a car will travel through the air is the

aerodynamic drag. Teams use specific tests to determine how to achieve the least amount

of drag on the car in order to obtain the fastest speed possible.

     Math is involved in the camber of a tire which is also very critical in creating

the fastest car possible. Camber is the angle at which a tire makes contact with the track

surface. The camber varies from tire to tire dep...


... middle of paper ...


... degree of the angle of the track, usually the banking is the

steepest in the turns. The banking can range from 0 degrees to 34 degrees which is

significant to the team when preparing for a race.

     Math is very important in the world of racing. In order to be the most

competitive teams must know how to use math and use it correctly.

Incorrect calculations can cause dismal performance, fines and be dangerous

to the driver. Due to these reasons race teams accept no error in calculations

and always make sure to use the math to their advantage. Math is used in different ways

in racing. Math is used to determine the proper setup of a car and is used to determine

the scoring and measurements of racing subjects. The car setup involves math in

the tire pressure, downforce, wedge, aerodynamic drag, camber, track bar and the

valance. Math is used in the scoring to determine how many points a driver receives each

race and is used in measuring the car weight, gas mileage, time interval, qualifying and

the track specifications. All of these are just some of the many examples of how math is

relevant in all areas of life including auto racing.


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