Why the Racing Industry Needs Great Engineers
01 Sep 21
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Categories: Motorsport and Automotive Performance Engineering, Undergradute
Watching Formula One or NASCAR, you might think that the motorsport technology that keeps these high adrenaline sports going bears little similarity to the humble car sitting on your drive. However, there is far more of a connection than you might realise. Many motorsport developments that take place on the track are often later adapted for use in the automotive industry.
When it comes to designing and building the best and fastest high-performance cars, racing teams have always sought the expertise of the top car engineers and designers they can find. Sometimes, when there are breakthroughs in this field there are elements of their design that can be translated for use in mass-produced cars.
When it comes to racing, every second count which is why Porsche began putting their ignition on the left side of the steering wheel. It’s something that they do in their race cars and makes the ignition just that little bit quicker to access. Push-button ignition is even faster and several production cars have taken this motorsport tech on board. Many still require the key to be inserted before the button can be depressed. Others are activated using a fob that, in proximity to the car, allows the button to be pushed.
It’s something every car has and, apart from when we travel down a bumpy road and mutter about our car’s suspension, not something we give much consideration to. Suspension is one of those motorsport developments that has directly translated to the world of production cars. Racing cars really need all four of their tyres to maintain contact with the track for maximum stability and most mass-produced cars, like racing cars, have independent suspension. However, the one thing that your car will offer you with its suspension is something race cars don’t have, and that’s comfort.
In the 1950s, disc brakes became a common addition to racing cars. Drivers liked them because they were easier to maintain and powerful, unlike the previous drum brake design. Nowadays disc brakes are commonplace on all production cars. There are a few models that only have them on their front wheels, but it is standard for most cars to be fitted with four. Whilst most of these are cast iron, the use of ceramic disc brakes, which have been used on racing cars for some time, is now becoming an option on luxury sports cars. This is motorsport tech that is not yet ready to be rolled out to production cars though due to its cost.
BSc (Hons) Motorsport & Technology– Driving the Future
If you are interested in motorsport technology and are considering further studies in the field of motorsport developments, here, at the University of Bolton, we offer a BSc (Hons) Motorsport & Technology degree that gives students the opportunity to gain the building blocks of knowledge required to take up a role in this exciting field.
The University of Bolton has been voted in the top 5 in the UK for Teaching Quality for the second year running*, a testament to our lecturers’ ability to get the best out of those who choose to study with us. We are a smaller university, and as such, pride ourselves on offering an experience that is welcoming and inclusive, allowing every student the opportunity to experience #UniAsItShouldBe.
If you would like to learn more about the university and our motorsport & technology degree, we would be delighted to talk to you. We have a team of helpful advisors who can be contacted on +44 (0)1204 900 600. If you prefer, however, you could message the team at firstname.lastname@example.org instead, and they will be happy to answer any query you might have.
*The Times and The Sunday Times 2020, 2019.
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