A question I’m often asked is “Do you have any experience setting up the suspension on my (XYZ model) car?” Makes sense. If we had experience with the XYZ model, then we’d have a better set up solution. Right?
However, it is the experience we gain over a wide range of vehicles, not just the XYZ model in question, that leads to best solutions for each individual race car.
With continuous application of our procedures using the "The Weight Transfer Worksheet™", we build up a store of knowledge, that guides us in what to look for with cars we do in the future.
If we are going out to test a race car, we must have a known baseline setup - ride stiffness and roll stiffness numbers from the Weight Transfer Worksheet™ we know will put us in the window around a good balance. We can adjust the set-up from there.
Why do we need to do this?
In a one off drive situation, race drivers are not programmed to tell us whether the car is soft of stiff, or whether there might be more grip available with more, or less stiffness.
When we are testing with the baseline set up, we expect that the car is "in the window" as far as setup is concerned, and that the driver will be able to feel changes we make to the car.
Drivers can only give feedback by comparison. And good drivers can do that with surprising clarity and precision, but only where they have done a lot of testing and/or racing setup changes and got it all in their memory bank. You see this in Nascar, where teams are not allowed any data logging in races. The top drivers can give the team the changes they want in the next pitstop in exact detail.
How do you make decisions about the setup you want? The Weight Transfer Worksheet™ gives you the capability to decide the baseline setup, whatever type of race car you have.
The Racing Car Technology Weight Transfer Worksheet™ is an Excel spreadsheet we have developed for calculating and deciding on the baseline setup we want to run.
Racers can easily measure and weigh their race car and simply input the data into the sheet to get recommended springs and anti-roll bars for their race or road performance car.
The spreadsheet is based on equations that appear in some form in most of the vehicle dynamics text books. We have adapted the known calculations to suit just about every race car on four wheels. There are also significant new developments by us, such as the Racing Car Technology "Bounce Test".
The significance of the Bounce Test™ is that it allows us to determine suspension stiffness directly. We can develop baseline set-ups for a whole host of cars where the “guesstimate” has predominated. Race cars with any type of suspension, such as leaf spring, trailing arm/semi trailing arm, multilink, double A-arm with the spring sitting on a control arm. Race cars based on production models from just about every manufacturer on the planet.
When you're racing, your sport takes up a big proportion of you time, money and energy. You deserve better than a "best guess". Your enjoyment of racing depends on performing at your best. And the Weight Transfer Worksheet™ should become a key procedure in helping you do that, saving you time and money, and best of all, giving you a faster car.
There are just a few steps to follow in the course to get you proficient in using the Weight Transfer Worksheet™, and finding a baseline setup for your car.
Like more details? Do watch our free training Suspension Tuning 101 and 102. We make the point about how racing stiffness (a range of suspension stiffness 125CPM to 170CPM) will increase tyre grip, compared to softer suspension.
I know. There are still quite a few theorists who champion soft suspension for racing, but then, they are unclear as to how stiff is stiff. One needs real world comparisons and calculations of spring frequency to make sense of all this.
Check out our new E Book:
The "7 Hacks..." are seven little known insights into race car handling. A unique overview of handling that could transform your understanding of what’s required to do your own suspension set-up.
We take a deep dive into how race car handling actually works.