Racing software is a tool. It can be used for chassis and engine setup decisions, and it's a great aid for learning how race cars work. Entry-level racers and veterans now use racing software on a weekly basis. The laptop computer allows teams to take the software to the racetrack.

In our first installment on racing software, we purposely limited the scope of the article to software chassis design and tuning software. However, there are other helpful software packages available.

AutoWare Inc.
In addition to other circle track computer software, AutoWare pioneered its first engine simulation software in 1993. The team included a programmer, a racing engineer, and a Ph.D. physicist. As is the American way, this little team produced big results. The formulas and reverse engineering resulted in a surprisingly accurate model. Shortly after the program was released to the public, a local engine builder contacted AutoWare to get a copy. Here is what he said: "One of my customers used the software to select a combination, and when we used my dyno, it made more horsepower than I ever made from a 350."

Engine Shop
This software is an engine dyno simulator. It enables you to build an engine from scratch and test it in less than 3 minutes. Also, it's very user friendly and geared for entry-level to intermediate racers.

One benefit is that thousands of engine parts are built into the software. This allows the user to quickly look up and test different combinations without having a counter full of parts catalogs. It covers most V-8 Chevy, Ford, and Mopar manifolds, heads, cams, pistons, rods, and so on. So, if you want to compare one carburetor cfm rating to another before you spend those hard-earned bucks, here is a quick and easy way to try before you buy.

For more experienced engine builders, this software also allows custom inputs for specific cam events, bore, stroke, rod length, piston dome volume and pin height, rocker ratio, block deck height, valve sizes, and more.

Gears & Force Calculator
This new program is a totally fresh look at gearing, acceleration g-force, and the amount of thrust force. It is an excellent add-on for the thousands of racers already using the Engine Shop software because it reads Engine Shop files. The program can also run as a stand-alone, and the racer simply enters the engine power.

An exceptionally helpful feature is the Forward Thrust graphs. These show the actual number of pounds (force) pushing the race car forward. The wheelspin limit is also displayed so the racer will know if a certain combination will cause the tires to break traction at specific engine rpm.

In addition to speed versus rpm charts, the software generates acceleration g-force graphs. This helps the racer make decisions that will result in better acceleration off the corners and down the straights.

By using this program, you might discover that a quick shift on restarts is an advantage. This software can be used for one gear or up to five gears.

Race Car Management SoftwareThe goal of Intercomp's Race Car Management software is to achieve "Total Information Management" via easy data collection and meaningful output formats.

Six basic screens enable the recording of data for:
* Chassis geometry
* Suspension setup
* Weight and balance
* Tire and shock management
* Track and weather conditions
* Session/race performance analysis

Advanced functions include:
* Over 100 preinstalled tracks
* Tire temperature analysis
* Center of gravity calculations
* Dual lap timer with detailed analysis
* Detailed search/sort by selected items
* Print detailed easy-to-read reports
* Comprehensive "how-to" with tips

Additionally, the software enables direct interface with Intercomp's scale systems (Model SW1, SW, SWJD, and SW Deluxe). The user can actively weigh a vehicle, enter target weight values, calculate center of gravity (CG), and print detailed reports from a laptop computer.