Innovation influences the level of success in any field, and auto racing is no different. After all, technological innovations brought about motorsports, to begin with, and we have been determined to make performance better ever since its arrival. Professionals are not the only ones that benefit from innovations: usually, improvements on the track spread to the vehicles everyone drives. Below listed are some of the technological advancements that started on the race track and then moved on to the normal passenger cars.
Automobile racing is an intrinsically risky sport. Racing competition administrators always look for innovations that will make the sport safer and will maintain its integrity. However, it usually takes dire situations to force change.
In the NASCAR season of 1993, driver Rusty Wallace crashed in such a way that his vehicle flew twice through the air. He was rather uninjured after both accidents, mainly due to the roll cage of his car. Nevertheless, the incidents caused NASCAR to look for a solution which would keep automobiles on the ground.
If a car travels about 200 miles per hour and the air gets below it, then the aerodynamic force could just make it fly. The physics are like that of a plane taking off. NASCAR pursued a solution for the safety of the drivers, pit crews and fans.
Then, roof flaps came along for the 1994 season. These sit along the roof of the car and open as a result of aerodynamic force after the vehicle is turned around. After roof flaps are open, these disrupt the airflow across the car’s roof and then dissipate the pressure which would lift it; so, it remains on the ground.
These parts revolutionized automobile racing when these debuted at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. Disk brakes were attached to four cars that took part in the race, and each one finished at first place, second place, fourth place and ninth place. These are a feature that improves the vehicle’s braking performance. Nowadays, Formula One, NASCAR and most cars we see on the road use these as standard parts.
Kinetic Energy Recovery System
When an automobile breaks, KERS will recover the kinetic energy which would otherwise become waste heat. The recovered energy will be stored and converted into power, which can be used to boost acceleration. Formula One teams implemented electronic KERS back in 2009, and soon, automobile fans demanded producers to offer this system in factory vehicles.