Formula One Cars - Unsurpassed Technology at Its FinestWritten by Michael Walker
Formula One Racing is, quite simply, paramount of karting. It is professional form of sport in its entirety. Formula One is an international phenomenon, a media conglomerate that rakes in millions and millions of dollars a year from advertising, sponsorship, and broadcast revenues. Professional drivers with millionaire bank accounts race these majestic kart marvels that are unprecedented, flush with technological luxuries – everything from hard to produce lightweight frames that glide machine to tires with unsurpassed grooving style that exemplify powerful movement on circuit.
There is no sport that bests epitomizes term “global sport” like Formula One racing. Many countries serve as active participants in shaping professional karting scene – for example, Malaysia is a hot spot for racing (Fernando Alonso, a Spanish-born driver under Team Renault recently won a race there) and Italy plays a vital role in designing and manufacturing first class, top-of-the-line karts. Drivers and racing personalities hail from all parts of word – you have charismatic and popular Italian Renault boss Flavio Briatore, handsome young 23 year old racing prodigy in Fernando Alonso who stars in a Renault Megane commercial with his pet pig, and one of highest earning sports figures in world history in Michael Schumacher. Rivalries are common in Formula One – adding edge of excitement with every zip of curve and nitrous boost of machine.
In order to better become acquainted with Formula One racing, we must understand its organization. Karting goes way beyond pitting 3 2-cycle engine machines against each other on an oval circuit. Formula One is divided into drivers & their respective teams. Under such trademark car companies like Renault, Ferrari, and Toyota – each driver has an assembling cast of staffers consisting of mechanics, engineers, and designers all working towards one goal: to make that speedster faster using all resources at their disposal. Headed by team bosses that are adept at creating sponsorship opportunities and assembling best cast for each team, Formula One employs finest specialists in business with backgrounds in computer and automobile – even specialists with aerospace experience! High end, (rare technology reserved for space projects) in some instances, create fastest and most efficient car possible. According to FI rules, racing teams must design, construct, and built their own karts from scratch. The staff is pride of each individual team – capable and able to win every 57 lap enduro race from Malaysia to Great Britain.
Formula One cars can be summed up in two words: technological marvels. These sleek, low riding gems ripping through laps at speeds topping 200 mph. consist of more than just a chassis, an engine, and four wheels. For starters, engine is located behind cockpit as opposed to standard automobiles. They consist of 10 cylinder engines that produce heat which propel kart forward. Team engineers are always looking into ways to make their engines more powerful. Currently, 1000 bhp (a scale for horsepower) has not been topped – it is up to teams to produce an engine which would fare well supporting speed as well as support chassis. And as we know, there is a snug open cockpit for Jarno Trulli to maneuver his machine in.
Go Karts - Becoming a Racing EnthusiastWritten by Michael Walker
Imagine – ripping your torso as you hit a curve launching your sprint kart down circuit. Pressing on accelerator as you exercise dead-on hand-and-eye coordination determining smartest way to turn drift in 21st minute of an hour-long enduro race. Or perhaps be a spectator – routing for likes of Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher as they race neck-and-neck on last lap. Guess what – you are breathing and witnessing (even smelling distinctive aroma of clay dirt on dirt track) atmosphere that comes with go-kart racing.
Developed in 1950´s by pilots with a zest for tinkering with motorcycle engines to propel simple frames, go-karting extended internationally after construction of first go-kart by Art Ingels in Pasadena. Before dwelling on it’s mass European appeal and discussing pinnacle of Formula 1 racing, let’s backtrack for a second. Riding go-karts (or karting) is best way to break into professional racing. It is simplest means of exploding your chassis down track before getting into sophisticated arena of professional racing. Single cylinder engines, basic chassis models, and lack of speed producing components provide go-kart racing with air of simplicity, geared towards beginners and novices.
The concept of sprint karting comes to our mind when we think of prototypical kart & track in amusement parks, recreational areas, and arcade palaces. Impeccable karts with sleek designs and sturdy frames rip through on short tracks, usually made from asphalt or concrete – ranging from half a mile to a mile in length. Sprint karting is divided into classes (think boxing middleweights and welterweights) that distinguish engine-types (two-and four-cycle), driver (classified according to age and weight), brand of kart (Yamaha and Honda are popular choices), and specifications. No carbon-fiber made frames and McLarens built with lightweight materials here! Sprint karting is a simplified, scaled-down form of professional go-kart racing with shorter tracks, downgraded technology, less experienced drivers, and downgraded components across board.
Other forms of karting include enduro racing. Endurance racing, or “enduro” for short is a prolonged version of sprint. Propelled by aerodynamical butterfly steering, enduro karts are an upgrade over sprint karts – participating in races lasting an hour or more. Dirt, oval tracks is staple of endurance racing and is more prevalent in Midwest than anywhere else. Because of long racing period, special emphasis is paid to durable karts and pit stop maintenance than focusing on just speed. In runner’s terms, enduro is a marathon - not a sprint. If you sacrifice chassis and tire maintenance for speed throughout course of a race, reaching finish line is out of question.
Behind every successful sprint car are its well-performing components, specifically its frame, engine, and tires. The dynamics of a go-kart is two-fold: to be built to withstand rigors of racing and to serve as backbone for speed. Usually made of steel, frames have option of being flexible or not. Flexible frames mean easier maneuvering along track, especially when turning as to maintain good “side bite” and control of kart. Because non-professional go-karts have no sophisticated traction and suspension system to withstand bumps, frames are usually subject to more punishment. Sprint kart tires usually do not have indented grooves, as they are soft in nature and more suited to all-terrain.