What parameters can we change and think about how these parameters influence the performance of a vehicle in a balance of performance (BoP) regime? The physics discussion helps us link parameter changes to the primary modes of operation of a vehicle around a circuit, traveling in a straight line and cornering.
Different racing series have different options available to adjust performance of vehicles, but the general BoP variables typically include mass, total power output, minimum ride heights, aerodynamic elements, and fuel capacity, and to some extent tyres.
As implied by Newton’s Second Law, the mass of a vehicle directly, and inversely, impacts the ability of a vehicle to take advantage of the propulsive forces to accelerate. Whether we are talking about longitudinal or lateral accelerations, any increase in mass will reduce the acceleration capacity in those directions, while any reduction in mass will improve the acceleration capacity of a vehicle.
Because of the direct impact of mass on longitudinal and lateral accelerations, we can increase a vehicle’s mass to slow it down or reduce a vehicle’s mass to speed it up. A good rule of thumb is that a 10 kg increase or decrease in mass will…