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Pondering the modern front-engine Indy car

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  • Pondering the modern front-engine Indy car

    This thread was started on 11/04/04 by Seafury. I don't know how to get it here or if it's even allowed, but it's pretty interesting and has some good pics.

    I was trying to find Slinger's concept car thread, but haven't found it yet.
    Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

  • #2
    Try This (The advanced search function is so easy, even this Purdue Grad can use it)
    Natural Born Cynic

    What irks me (maybe its too soon for the truth), DW was a 16-oval WIN specialist, yet the vast majority those boohooing for him, hardcarders & fans, alike are the same ones trying to kill anything with more than 9 deg banking & 4 corners, where Dan ultimately made his home...

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    • #3
      If you find 'em, we'll bring 'em over.
      "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
      ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


      Brian's Wish

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      • #4
        I'll post this here, because the other thread referenced is really more of a technical fantasy exercise, but every time we talk about big changes or mandates in car design and even participation by those less accustomed to the high speed open wheel oval challenge, I'm also reminded of the unintended consequence of the big bump in frequency and severity of driver injuries during the early days of the IRL. And that those numbers seem to have improved (knock wood).

        I know mac miller dismisses this as "safety-nazi hand-wringing", but I would imagine those in responsible charge of the circumstances felt differently, as well as those in direct and supporting participation.

        I'm not saying "no changes", I'm just saying: remember that there will probably be an associated cost of this sort, and that maybe this isn't always said as much as it is understood by the PTB when deciding how things are done.

        Not meant to hurt anybody's feelings or ridicule their ideas, I just think it should be said for those new here or those who may have forgotten a bit. We all sort of tend to do that.
        "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
        ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


        Brian's Wish

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        • #5
          Just finished reading the thread...I'm afraaid I'm not as optimistic today as was back then about FE possibilities...the path of OW is pretty well laid out for better or worse...I think the mindset is that 'it can't be done'...and even if shown it could be I think the owners would reject the idea as too costly...

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          • #6
            Here's my more developed concept for it. Please note the replies from the Australian person.
            "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

            "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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            • #7
              It is a shame they can't just proclaim a formula that doesn't specify where the engine goes and let the whole rear vs front engine argument be settled on the track. But then again is there any road racing series today that uses purpose built machines that are front engined? I can't think of one. I'm not talking production based I'm talking designed from the ground up dedicated racers.

              And we are coming up on the day rear engine cars will have as many wins at Indy as the front engine designs have. But like I said above if the front engine crowd wants a go at it settle it at the track. Or at least maybe build a prototype and see what it runs at Indy.

              I just want to see the fastest safest way to get around Indy possible. If 250 MPH involves a full fendered car I have no problem with that but keeping it out of the stands and keeping drivers relatively safe will probably prevent it from ever happening.
              Thanks Downforce!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Qdoba Addict
                It is a shame they can't just proclaim a formula that doesn't specify where the engine goes and let the whole rear vs front engine argument be settled on the track. But then again is there any road racing series today that uses purpose built machines that are front engined? I can't think of one. I'm not talking production based I'm talking designed from the ground up dedicated racers.

                And we are coming up on the day rear engine cars will have as many wins at Indy as the front engine designs have. But like I said above if the front engine crowd wants a go at it settle it at the track. Or at least maybe build a prototype and see what it runs at Indy.

                I just want to see the fastest safest way to get around Indy possible. If 250 MPH involves a full fendered car I have no problem with that but keeping it out of the stands and keeping drivers relatively safe will probably prevent it from ever happening.
                Good points. Unfortunately I don't see this as feasible. Basically that battle has been fought and won as many have pointed out to me. And there arguments are good. I even agree with them. A mid engined car made from CF with high ground effects is going to be faster than any front engined car all other things being equal. So then you would have to make them unequal in order to be equal, which is contradictory at least. And it wouldn't in my opinion do anything to address the real problem, which is cost. I like all of seafury's examples and several other ones that I've seen, but as he said, something will have to be done to make the mid engined cars heavier and less powerful relatively speaking. And besides being at least from some points of view, unfair, they might even increase the cost rather than decreasing it.

                And you got it right when you suggested keeping the cars out of the stands is going to be the big problem of faster cars than we have right now. But that opens the door to a less efficient design that has other positive qualities. If our speed has topped out and most people will admit that it has, then making the cars lighter and faster is fundamentally unsound. Making them lighter and faster comes at a high cost with relatively small gains, that wind up being wiped out by the rule book. If you build a car that is 10mph faster and $1000 more expensive and I change the rules to make your new car 10mph slower, how can you recover your investment?

                Personally I am not locked into a front engined car. I kind of like the concept and think both the traditional (older) cars and the newer concept cars both look great. But I think a lot of the mid engined cars look pretty cool too. And some of the best racing I've ever seen was with the previous version of the IRL car.

                So, I'll repeat myself for the umpteenth time, if the cars are speed controlled and there is no feasible way around that, then the new engineering challenge is to lower the cost of going that fast. And while it is a new challenge, the technology to get there is already available. The car CAN be heavier. If adding weight decreases the speed too much, then horsepower can easily be added back in. And it can be done relatively inexpensively. And despite claims to the contrary, this car can be built safely out of steel tubing at a huge cost savings.
                Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sea Fury
                  Here's my more developed concept for it. Please note the replies from the Australian person.

                  I was about halfway through a response and hit a wrong key and lost it. It may show up as sort of a double post or perhaps not.

                  I love your designs, all of them. But I think we now see the problem is not really the location of the engine as much as the cost of the cars. And I am afraid your car would cost as much or more than what we have now.

                  And personally, I am not married to a front engined concept, although it does have some appeal to me. But if they came up with an affordable rear engined car that put on races like the previous version of the IRL car, I'd be all for that as well.

                  Now I've been accused of wanting to put unsafe jalopy style cars on the track as Indy cars, but that is simply not the case. And I've been accused of not recognizing that racing is expensive and again that's not true either. What I am guilty of is recognizing that the current fields of Indy cars are pathetically small and unless they get considerably bigger then that form of racing will not be something that I would watch either in person or on TV.

                  I am also guilty of making the claim that the cars can be more affordable while still being safe and fast and I have some expert testimony to back up those claims.
                  Some people will do nearly anything in order to be able to not do anything.

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