Use of Math in Auto Racing

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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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