13. Setup Balance Challenges
In past articles of Circle Track we have used the term balance when referring to setups. The balanced setup has noticeable results in performance. That is why we are so adamant about getting our readers to fully understand the concept.
There are several critical reasons why a balanced setup is essential to optimum chassis performance. First of all, we can accurately predict load transfer if the setup in the car is balanced.
Secondly, we will have less (almost non-existent) chassis flex with a balanced setup. Compliance, or flexing of the chassis, can’t occur if we remove the forces that force this to happen.
Last, and most importantly, a balanced setup is much more forgiving when the track conditions change or the driver runs different grooves. The speed of the car does not fall off as much, either, as the race goes on and the tires wear. It is the tendency of the balanced setup to help maintain a neutral handling characteristic and retained speed after a long run that helps win races.
Whichever type of racetrack, and whether you run dirt or asphalt, attention must be paid to the relationship of the front suspensions desires to the rear suspension desires. When both ends are close to wanting the same attitude in the turns, then all four tires will be doing more work and the car will be faster and more consistent.
For the specifics about each Challenge, dig out your old copies of CT and read the related articles. For your convenience, Motor Books International has compiled a group of chassis related articles that have appeared in CT over a four year period in a book titled Chassis & Suspension Handbook. And, keep reading CT for updates and presentations on advanced chassis setup techniques and cutting edge breakthroughs.