The DRS system was implemented in Formula 1 to increase passing in the series. By moving a flap in the rear wing of the race cars, drag could be reduced, allowing a car to attain a higher top speed on the straights. The racing series limited the activation of the DRS wing to only cars following closely behind another. This artificially enabled them to gain a speed boost over the car in front to aid passing.
[Engineering After Hours] wanted to see if a tiny wing on a small RC car could work the same way. It would fundamentally come down to whether moving a tiny wing element would appreciably change the car’s drag or not. Naturally, on such a small scale, attaining high speeds would be necessary to detect much difference. At lower speeds, the difference in drag would likely be too negligible to notice.
The RC-scale DRS system fundamentally does work. With DRS engaged, flattening out the rear wing elements noticably reduced downforce at the rear. With the DRS not engaged, though, the rear wing on the car was creating so much downforce that the car was squatting at the rear and occasionally flipping end over end. [Engineering After Hours] didn’t get any top speed measurements, but estimated that the wing could potentially increase top speed by up to 7 mph with the DRS enabled.
As the world grapples with the issue of climate change, there’s a huge pressure to move transport away from carbon-based fuels across the board. Whether it’s turning to electric cars for commuting or improving the efficiency of the trucking industry, there’s much work to be done.
It’s a drop in the ocean in comparison, but the world of motorsports has not escaped attention when it comes to cleaning up its act. As a result, many motorsports are beginning to explore the use of alternative fuels in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
We’ve spoken a lot about building race cars here at Hackaday, but what does it actually look like to go out and do it? The boys from [Bad Obsession Motorsport] dived into that very question with their Bargain Racement series last year.
The series follows the duo as they build a Citroen C1 into a competitive race car to take on the City Car Cup, an entry-level racing series focused on keeping the field competitive and the racing close.
Even at this level, there’s plenty to do to prep the car for competition. The rollcage needs to be installed, seats changed out for race-spec gear, and plenty of wiring to do as well. [Nik] and [Richard] have plenty of experience in the field of motorsport, and shine a great light on how to do the job, and do it right.
All in all, building the car cost £5995 pounds, starting from a used £850 Citroen C1. However, actually going racing costs more than that. Between race suits and boots, a helmet, club memberships and race entry fees, it cost a full £8273 to get to the first race. It’s steep, though much of those costs are upfront. Keep the car off the walls and year on year, you only need to keep paying for entry fees, memberships and consumables like fuel and tires.
It’s a great look at everything from building a race car, to testing and then actually competing as well. It serves as an excellent real-world example of what we talk about in our series on how to get into cars, which just recently touched on prepping a car for endurance competition. Video after the break.
Many an automotive enthusiast finds themselves at a track day eventually. Typically, this involves competing against the clock to better one’s laptimes in short sessions throughout the day. Such events are fun, but it often creates a perishing thirst for a greater level of competition.
Regularity and endurance events are often the next step up for a lot of people. These events involve long runs at race pace that stress a car to (or beyond!) the breaking point. Careful preparation is required if one is to see out the race to the chequered flag. Let’s break down what you’ll need to consider.
The advent of aerodynamic wings in motorsport was one of the most dramatic changes in the mid-20th century. Suddenly, it was possible to generate more grip at speed outside of altering suspension setups and fitting grippier tyres. However, it was just the beginning, and engineers began to look at more advanced ways of generating downforce without the drag penalty incurred by fitting wings to a racecar.
Perhaps the ultimate expression of this was the fan car. Mechanically complex and arguably dangerous, the technology offered huge downforce with minimal drag. However, the fan car’s time in the spotlight was vanishingly brief, despite the promise inherent in the idea. Let’s take a look at the basic theory behind the fan car, how they worked in practice, and why we don’t see them on racetracks today. Continue reading “The Rise And Fall Of The Fan Car”→