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A Numerical Example

This section has been mainly descriptive, but it is possible to account for the weight transfer to solve numerical problems. To make matters simple we will treat the car as resting on only its outer two wheels (this is really a motorbike approximation).

Example An F1 car has a 60/40 front-rear weight distribution. It is cornering at 1.4g but the rear tyres are capable of producing a total of of traction (where is the weight on the rear wheels). The design is such that 20% of the weight is transfered from rear to front per 1g of braking force. What braking deceleration can the driver apply before the rear tyres break loose? [To make the problem simpler, assume that the front wheels do all of the braking!]

Ans The maximum weight transfer is 6% from the rear to front. This corresponds to 0.3g of breaking (Part III). Play with the calculation, and you'll see how critical it is to ensure that the weight transfer is as small as possible. This means getting the Centre of Gravity as low as possible.

Richard Bower
Thursday October 8 16:09:30 BST 1998