BJR's (driver, Nic Percat) and Triple Eight's ZB Commodores
Speedcafe.com reports that Holden teams in the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship believe there is more performance to come from the ZB Commodore, as they begin to understand and develop the brand-new car.
The car is very good straight off. Holden teams have won seven of the eight races and claimed a clean sweep of fastest laps.
Speedcafe interviewed Brad Jones from Brad Jones Racing and Mark Dutton from Triple Eight Racing.
Brad said, “With any car, you don’t turn up every day with exactly the same set-up. Once you understand the car, you know what tools to get out of your toolbox to change different aspects of that car depending on what you’re looking for.
“And when you have a new car it’s learning how those tools, or which tools, impact the most and what changes what.
“It just takes time, and the more time you spend with the car, the more you understand what tools you need to make it turn harder, or drive better, or whatever it is you’re looking for.
“And everything else contributes to that - weather conditions, track surface, day temperature - there’s lots of things that impact on what you’re trying to achieve.”
Mark Dutton, Triple Eight Racing said, “Will they go quicker? It’s hard to know. That’s why we have a development program; you’ve got to learn what you have now, understand it as best you can, and then make steps forward.”
Mark added, “It is (lap time), but it’s more so tuneability and being able to tune the car, that’s what you want the new bits for.”
“If you have a handling issue, whether you need more front grip, or more rear grip, or power down, or whatever, it’s having tools that make it easier to tune a car and find the sweet spot.”
“That’s what you want, which eventually gets you lap time, but it’s not really the specifics of lap time, it’s having a car that is better and easier and quicker to tune.”
Looking at what these guys are saying, it's clear that firstly they need to understand the handling nuances relating to the new car. The new car is sufficiently different that they can’t just dial it in with what they know about the old car.
They’re working from a “mind-set”, a view about how the racing car works. The engineers are highly trained and experienced in vehicle dynamics and they have some pretty neat tools, data analysis and computer simulation techniques to help.
What can we learn in grassroots racing?
In grassroots racing, we want the same – a great handling race car, that we can adjust to suit the track.
The difference is we have far less expertise. time and money.
But grassroots racers should be working towards the same goals. We need to develop our knowledge in how the race car works. Then using simple tools, we can develop a BASELINE SET-UP, the set-up that will be close to a good balance and then tune at the track to find the sweet spot.
If you know your motion ratios, and therefore your suspension frequencies, combined with the neutral balance point, as per the Racing Car Technology Weight Transfer Transfer Worksheet™, then you are streets in front.
Check out our free training videos in suspension set-up and start moving forward with the development of your race car.
See the theory and procedures we use at Racing Car Technology to gain seconds improvement in lap times for our clients….