Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Philosophy, Vol. 1 Revisited

I'll touch on this subject one more time and then let it rest.

Just to show that our preconceived notions of what the racecar needs are often wrong, and that slavish devotion to simplistic notions of vehicle dynamics are equally wrong, it happened again this weekend at Autobahn.

One car I engineered felt like it needed a crisper turn-in with more support. But, it was worse with a slightly stiffer front bar, not better - as is often the case. Turns out it needed more low-speed bump damping and less front bar.

Another car I engineered lost front grip with a lower nose on the bump damping curve, despite expectations that it would gain front grip from that change. After all, the rear had just gained grip from a similar change.

At the next event, I may have to abandon these seemingly solid conclusions, too, if they prove to have been track-specific.

On my soapbox for the last time on this subject, for at least the next week:
-Listen to the car and the driver. They are reality. Your preconceived notions are not.
-The solution to a question may go contrary to common theory or your experience.


  1. As a data guy I feel that there must be a way to determine which way to go without having to back up and change the approach...

    In the first example, could we look at (roll) damping ratios and determine that the baseline setting was "outside of the ballpark?" I guess the big question is why/what made it work this way?

  2. Hey Buddy,

    Enjoying your blog. Gets the old brain cogs turning!

    See you at the track...