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Old 25 May 2004, 13:54 (Ref:982550)   #1
X-Guy
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Perspective on how stagnant road racing performance levels have become

Top Fuel drag bike riders are running 1,000+ horsepower bikes and hitting 240+ mph in the quarter.

Last year a rider with a 400 horsepower Hayabusa hit 250 mph at the end of the standing mile on the land speed trials track at Maxton, North Carolina.

In 1995 I watched a 3,000 pound 1,200 horsepower lakester (dragster style car) with skinny land speed tires and Bonneville gearing clock 255 mph at the end of the standing mile during land speed trials at Spence Field, Georgia.

In 1938, both the Auto Union and Mercedes Benz streamliners clocked over 270 mph on the autobahn. This remains the highest speed ever reached on a public road in Europe.
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Old 25 May 2004, 13:58 (Ref:982555)   #2
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Re: Perspective on how stagnant road racing performance levels have become

But then, that's not really racing is it.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:05 (Ref:982565)   #3
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So, what is the price of tea in China then?
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:07 (Ref:982567)   #4
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Re: Re: Perspective on how stagnant road racing performance levels have become

Quote:
Originally posted by cybersdorf
But then, that's not really racing is it.
Speed scares Europeans. The only ones with any guts have been British and German.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:32 (Ref:982585)   #5
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Maybe the top speeds have been stagnant, but look at aceleration and cornering figures, there should be sensible advance.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:35 (Ref:982590)   #6
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I think we might have a "moster" on board.

I'm not even gonna comment on the subject put forward.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:44 (Ref:982604)   #7
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What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey-Lee
I think we might have a "moster" on board.

I'm not even gonna comment on the subject put forward.
I think we have someone onboard who resorts to name calling because he doesn't have the background to respond to the subject of the thread.

Why is it, for example, that horsepower levels of current racing sportscars are no greater than what the Auto Union and Mercedes Benz teams were running in 1937 and 1938? Why do current racing sportscars have top speeds SLOWER than what the Mercedes Benz and Auto Union streamliners were hitting at the 1937 Berlin Grand Prix? Have not construction methods, brakes and aerodynamics evolved in 70 years to handle higher speeds?

Last edited by X-Guy; 25 May 2004 at 14:49.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:51 (Ref:982613)   #8
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Because if we'd put a compressor/turbo on 3.0 litre engines like those teams ran back then we'd have cars which would pose a HUGE safety risk for everyone involved in the sport, including spectators.

It's one of the reasons racecar regulations are put in place, to slow down the cars. Confronting a designer with these restrictions alse pushes them to inovate which is very interesting.

Last edited by Jeffrey-Lee; 25 May 2004 at 14:52.
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Old 25 May 2004, 14:57 (Ref:982626)   #9
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Safety risks

Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey-Lee
Because if we'd put a compressor/turbo on 3.0 litre engines like those teams ran back then we'd have cars which would pose a HUGE safety risk for everyone involved in the sport, including spectators.

It's one of the reasons racecar regulations are put in place, to slow down the cars. Confronting a designer with these restrictions alse pushes them to inovate which is very interesting.
There are vehicles running with exotic fuels and superchargers right now not on 3.0 liter engines but on 7.0 liter enginess. Both the open wheel and coupe versions are running over 330 mph. So far not that big a hazard to spectators (I guess because FIA wasn't writing the rules).
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:01 (Ref:982629)   #10
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Re: What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by X-Guy
Why is it, for example, that horsepower levels of current racing sportscars are no greater than what the Auto Union and Mercedes Benz teams were running in 1937 and 1938? Why do current racing sportscars have top speeds SLOWER than what the Mercedes Benz and Auto Union streamliners were hitting at the 1937 Berlin Grand Prix? Have not construction methods, brakes and aerodynamics evolved in 70 years to handle higher speeds?
How relevant are top speeds and horsepower levels though, when the overall package in terms of aerodynamics and handling has progressed so much that actual lap times and peeds are way in advance of those 30's streamliners?
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:05 (Ref:982633)   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by independent
So, what is the price of tea in China then?
For one thing, those Auto Union and Mercedes streamliners of 1937/38 managed to go about 90 mph faster than that Mercedes Le Mans coupe of a few years back without flying.

Last edited by X-Guy; 25 May 2004 at 15:11.
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:10 (Ref:982638)   #12
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Re: Re: What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by KA
How relevant are top speeds and horsepower levels though, when the overall package in terms of aerodynamics and handling has progressed so much that actual lap times and peeds are way in advance of those 30's streamliners?
It would be interesting to see how close to contemporary performance a 1937/38 Mercedes or Auto Union Grand Prix car would come after being fitted with modern brakes and tires.
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:18 (Ref:982647)   #13
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Re: Re: What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by KA
How relevant are top speeds and horsepower levels though, when the overall package in terms of aerodynamics and handling has progressed so much that actual lap times and peeds are way in advance of those 30's streamliners?

A Case In Point:

In 1996 at the Indy 500, the race cars had reached their pinnacle of speed by setting one-lap and 4-lap records that many thought would not be broken...both are around 235 mph...I can look up the actual speeds if you wish, but let me get to the point:

Those cars had turbos running at 45 lbs. of boost and created about 750-800 horsepower....

Starting in 1997, the IRL mandated new engine and chassis packages that had larger wings, more downforce, and engines with reduced hosrepower to slow the cars down...and they made additional changes since by reducing engine displacement and rpm to reduce speeds even more...

Last year, teams were running within 2 mph of those records in a car that was not as trimmed out, had more downforce and drag, and had nornally-aspirated engines that had somethwere between 100-125 less horsepower than those turbos that set the record....

That's advancement in aero design, engines, torque multiplication, and gearing.....

despite the restrictions, they were nearly as fast, and if they would have had decent weather on "Pole Day" last year, those records would have been in serious jeopardy....

So I agree with KA....I would not judge how much horsepower or how fast a given car runs to determine "stagnation".....

One must look at the context in which the race times are set and the rules which are in place to govern a given series....


and given that context, sportscars have advanced by leaps and bounds technologically and aerodynamically....and speed has not suffered because of it...
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:25 (Ref:982655)   #14
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Re: What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by X-Guy
I think we have someone onboard who resorts to name calling because he doesn't have the background to respond to the subject of the thread.

Why is it, for example, that horsepower levels of current racing sportscars are no greater than what the Auto Union and Mercedes Benz teams were running in 1937 and 1938? Why do current racing sportscars have top speeds SLOWER than what the Mercedes Benz and Auto Union streamliners were hitting at the 1937 Berlin Grand Prix? Have not construction methods, brakes and aerodynamics evolved in 70 years to handle higher speeds?
Well, they are greater horsepower levels if you think about it...

The most powerful pre-war cars had about 650bhp from monster 5.7 litre supercharged engines.
Now we have 850+bhp from naturally aspirated 3 litre cars.
If BMW put their mind to it, they could build a supercharged 5.7 litre engine with 1500bhp...
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Old 25 May 2004, 15:25 (Ref:982656)   #15
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Re: Re: Re: What is the logic (it any) behind the rules?

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim Northcutt
A Case In Point:

In 1996 at the Indy 500, the race cars had reached their pinnacle of speed by setting one-lap and 4-lap records that many thought would not be broken...both are around 235 mph...I can look up the actual speeds if you wish, but let me get to the point:

Those cars had turbos running at 45 lbs. of boost and created about 750-800 horsepower....

Starting in 1997, the IRL mandated new engine and chassis packages that had larger wings, more downforce, and engines with reduced hosrepower to slow the cars down...and they made additional changes since by reducing engine displacement and rpm to reduce speeds even more...

Last year, teams were running within 2 mph of those records in a car that was not as trimmed out, had more downforce and drag, and had nornally-aspirated engines that had somethwere between 100-125 less horsepower than those turbos that set the record....

That's advancement in aero design, engines, torque multiplication, and gearing.....

despite the restrictions, they were nearly as fast, and if they would have had decent weather on "Pole Day" last year, those records would have been in serious jeopardy....

So I agree with KA....I would not judge how much horsepower or how fast a given car runs to determine "stagnation".....

One must look at the context in which the race times are set and the rules which are in place to govern a given series....


and given that context, sportscars have advanced by leaps and bounds technologically and aerodynamically....and speed has not suffered because of it...
If sportsracing cars were running 250 mph or 300 mph down the straights I wonder if spectators would be complaining half so much about lack of passing due to shortened braking distances. I also wonder how present lap times compare to what is really possible as opposed to what the rules allow.
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