Saturday, December 8, 2012
Saw an ad for this free software in a racecar engineering magazine today. It not only has the ability to do predict optimal lap times, but can tell you how your lap times will increase or decrease based on a range of variables. For example if you changed your gear ratios from a USDM 5MT to USDM 6MT or JDM 6MT, how would it affect lap times? This software can do that.
It works by modelling your car as a single point on the race track. Given the maximum traction forces of your tires based on real world data, vehicle mass, coefficient of drag/lift, horsepower/torque, gear ratios, etc. it will calculate the maximum apex speed your car can carry and then works backwards to figure out braking zones and top speeds on the straights. It can even model the track for you if you have GPS data (which I do).
Of course there are some limitations such as no elevation changes on the track, difficult to know the true coefficient of drag, etc. but it does seem very neat.
Would love to take some time to play around with it. Maybe over the holidays.