Mathematics is found everywhere in life and work and auto racing isno 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 dont 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 relatedsubjects 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 inthe 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 foroptimal 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 createsthe term downforce. The greater the psi the greater the downforce which creates bettertire 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 determineshow 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 theaerodynamic 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 depending on which tire it is in order to achieve the fastest and best handling car possible. Math is also prevalent when dealing with a cars track bar. The track bar locatesthe vehicles rear end housing from left to right underneath it. In calibrating the vehicles suspension geometry by raising or lowering the track bar a team is able to changethe rear roll center which determines how well the car will handle in turns. Determiningthe proper angle of the track bar a team controls the car.
A cars valance also involves using math. A cars valance is the panel that extendsbelow the front bumper, also known as a front air dam. The amount of clearance between the valance and the ground directly affects the amount of front downforce the vehicle creates. The lower the valance the greater the downforce. The teams must use math in order to determine the distance the valance is to the ground and the amount of downforce it creates for the best possible performance.
In addition to the setup of a car math is also used in auto racing in order to score and determine racing related measurements. Math is used in the scoring or points system of auto racing. The points system in NASCAR uses math in order distribute points to the drivers and teams. The winner receives 175 points and from there the points given decline in five point increments for places two through six. Points awarded then drop four points per driver for positions seven through eleven and then three points per driver from there on out.
Divers who lead at least one lap receive five bonus points and the driver who leads the most points in a race receives ten bonus points. Math is used in another simple but important aspect of racing, the cars weight. There are important reasons for having certain weight distributions. The weight distributions determine how fast the car can go and how it can handle. NASCAR has specific weight requirements for the cars depending on the track. If there is a violation of the weight specifications then large fines will occur.
A simple but almost the most important use of math by racing teams is determining the gas mileage of the car. There are no gas gauges inside of these race cars therefore teams must determine their own gas mileage in order to determine when to pit for gas or if they can go for a certain time without stopping. It is not uncommon for cars to run out of gas during a race due to taking chances andmiscalculations. Another calculation that teams use math to determine is the time interval betweentwo or more cars. In order to figure out when or if they can catch or be caught by another car, teams must calculate how fast their car is going and how fast the competitor is going and the difference between them is called the interval.
If the interval is getting smallerthan the two cars are becoming closer and if the interval is getting larger then thegap between the cars is getting larger as well. Teams can also determine how many laps it will take to overcome the next car (assuming there is a declining interval) and thishelps them determine strategy. Similar to determining the interval between two cars is determining the qualifying time. The starting positions in a race are determined by the fastest qualifying times. Using math teams can determine how fast they must travel the trackdistance in order to start at the front of the field.
They are able to determine how fastthrough each segment of the track they must run in order to put up the fastest time. Math is also used to determine the track specifications. Not just the distance of the track is important to the team when preparing for a race. The banking of the turns is also important. The banking is the degree of the angle of the track, usually the banking is thesteepest 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 mostcompetitive teams must know how to use math and use it correctly. Incorrect calculations can cause dismal performance, fines and be dangerousto the driver. Due to these reasons race teams accept no error in calculationsand 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 determinethe 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 isrelevant in all areas of life including auto racing.