Friday, 26 July 2013

Understanding Understeer from Oversteer

Graphic Illustration of Understeer vs. Oversteer
Source: Google Images

As a car enthusiast, I literally eat, sleep and dream cars, but I always tend to struggle with understanding the terms: Understeer and Oversteer. Whenever one watches a car related programme you always tend to hear the motoring terms: Understeer and Oversteer. With this blog, I will attempt to explain: Understeer and Oversteer. I hope that you enjoy the read!

Top Gears: Richard Hammond explains Understeer and Oversteer

What is Understeer and Oversteer? These are predominantly vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car steers more than commanded by the driver. Whereas, understeer occurs when a car steers less than the amount commanded by the driver. Some motoring journalists attribute “Understeer” to Front Wheel Drive (FWD) cars, whereas Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) cars predominantly “Oversteer”, which makes them the ideal car to use for drifting.

Now that you are aware of what “Understeer” and “Oversteer” is, I will now go about explaining Oversteer and Understeers, as well as the causes and methods to correct both Oversteer and Understeer if are faced with the situation.

Explaining Oversteer
As a driver it’s unlikely that you’ll ever experience oversteer unless you’re driving/pushing a car over its limits of grip. According to, You can recognise oversteer if:

·         The rear of the vehicle becomes unstable and ‘light’ due to lack of grip.
·         The car starts to rotate so the driver is facing towards the inside of the corner.

There are four major causes of oversteer:
1.    Entering the corner too fast.
2.    Accelerating into the corner, too early or too aggressively.
3.    Braking into the corner or mid corner.
4.    Lifting off the throttle mid-corner.

Correcting Oversteer. explains how to correct oversteer: “Whatever the cause of oversteer it is important to keep the front wheels pointing in the direction you're hoping to go. If you fail to do this, the most likely result is a spin. You should apply enough steering lock to point the wheels in the direction of the slide. Too little and you're likely to spin as the back continues to come round, too much and the car will rapidly over-correct, often resulting in a spin in the opposite direction. The skill can only be mastered with plenty of practice and should become instinct if you're planning to drive fast on a track.”

Explaining Understeer
As stated previously Understeer will not happen if you aren’t pushing a car to its limit. Understeer is most likely to result from these situations:
·         Accelerating into a bend
·         Braking into a corner
·         Ploughing into a corner too fast
·         Low traction conditions on the corner such as ice or oil

Active causes of Understeer
·         Cornering speed
·         Throttle
·         Braking
·         Steering inputs
·         Weight transfer
Recommended ways to correct understeer are:
  • Be as smooth as you can
  • Don't enter corners flat out, and accelerate as you exit
  • Don't brake in a corner. The only exception to this is if you are using trail braking...

One can now establish that “Understeer” and “Oversteer” are will most likely to occur when pushing your car to the limit. In conlusion, I believe that you should only experience these driving dynamics on a racetrack, because tracks are there for racing and many tracks are open to the public. Therefore, I suggest rather push your car on a track/circuit than on the street because you’d be much safer. I hope that you have enjoyed this new blog!   

Monday, 19 November 2012

Speeding...............NASCAR racing

Caption: Nascar Races begin with rolling starts, as seen here.
Source: Googleimages

Racing is my passion, as some of you may know, but this blog is a tribute to American Stock Car Racing (NASCAR). The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France,  in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of Bill France. NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. It also oversees NASCAR Local Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour, the Whelen All-American Series, and the NASCAR Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 US states and Canada. NASCAR has presented exhibition races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, Mexico, and Calder Park Raceway in Australia.
Caption: A 2009 Sprint Cup NASCAR
Source: Googleimages 
NASCAR's headquarters are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, although it also maintains offices in four North Carolina cities; Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord, and Conover. Regional offices are also located in New York City, Los Angeles, Bentonville, Arkansas, and international offices in Mexico City and Toronto. Additionally, owing to its Southern roots, all but a handful of NASCAR teams are still based in North Carolina, especially near Charlotte.
Caption: Accidents do happen!
Source: googleimages
NASCAR is second only to the National Football League amongst professional sports franchises in terms of television ratings in the United States. Internationally, NASCAR races are broadcast in over 150 countries. In 2004 NASCAR's Director of Security stated that NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world. NASCAR has 75 million fans who purchase over $3 billion annually in licensed products. Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other motor sport, although this has been in decline since the early 2000s.
I trust that you enjoyed this read, because I truly believe that NASCAR is amazing form of motorsport. 

Source: Official Website - NASCAR

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Formula 1 drivers profile: Fernando Alonso

Caption: This is Fernando Alonso, who is currently battling Sebastien Vettel for the 2012 Championship title.
This week, we turn our attention to a current Formula 1 racing driver: Fernando Alonso who was born on 29 July 1981 and is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion, who is currently racing for Scuderia Ferrari.
Alonso started in karting from the age of 3. He won three consective karting championships in Spain from 1994 to 1997, and he became world karting champion in 1996. He made his Formula One debut in the 2001 season with Minardi, and then moved to the Renault as a test driver the next year. Starting in 2003 Alonso then became one of the main drivers of the team. On 25 September 2005, he won the Formula One World Driver's Championship title at the age of 24, at the time making him the youngest Formula One World Drivers' Champion. After retaining the title the following year, Alonso also became the youngest double Champion at the time. He joined McLaren in 2007, before returning to Renault for two seasons in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010, he joined Scuderia Ferrari who he continues to race for to date.
Caption: Fernando Alonso in his Scuderia Ferrari 2010
Fernando Alonso also had become the youngest driver to win a grand prix and pole position respectively in the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix and the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix., before both records were broken by Sebastian Vettel in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. I truly hope that you have enjoyed this read!
Source: Formula 1 world

Ferrari – the history behind the ‘Pranching Horse’

 Caption: Ferrari's logo the pranching horse
Source: google images
Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, Italy. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947. Throughout its history, the company is recognized for participation in a number or racing series, especially in Formula 1. Ferrari road cars are generally seen as a symbol of luxury and wealth.            
The Ferrari headquarters is based in Maranello, Italy. Key people within Ferrari are: Luca di Montezemolo (Chairman) and Piero Ferrari (Vice Chairman), but something you should also note is that Luca di Montezemolo also oversees the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team. 
 For further information, feel free to log-onto: Ferrari World (official website)

Of all the forms of courage the ability to laugh is the most.....

Caption: Laughter is the best medicine without a doubt.
In this day and age, many of us take ourselves too seriously. Laughter as we know best is fun and is the best medicine around, trust me on that. When you laugh, your body begins to relax and best of all you are happy for that period.
Laughter is associated to joy. In terms of Joy, one could see on others faces – smiles, sound of your laughter etc. which could be a spark to laughter in some instances. Keeping your joy (laughter) is a decision that you have to make every day, because we are faced with a number of challenges on a regular basis. So keep that smile on your dial!
It is also important to laugh during the difficult times, and having the bravery to laugh about things that has been an issue would be very liberating, and in terms of this nature the stress you have will be lightened or offloaded from your shoulders.   

So go out there and laugh!!!