Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why do racing cars have smooth tires?


Tires serve as cushions for the wheels of automobiles. They give the car a good grip on slippery roads, and stop the car from sliding about when breaking or cornering. Except for racing cars, most of the tires we see have tread patterns running around the tire. These treads are the thin zigzag channels that cut around the rubber. The treads sponge up surface water and pup the water out behind as the car rolls forward. On a wet road, a tire has to move more than 5 liters of water a second to give an adequate grip.

Most cars have to function in all weathers, so their tires must be treaded. On a perfectly dry road, however, the treads are actually not needed.

Racing cars are used only during races, and these events are usually held during a dry season. That's why they don't need tires with treads. The smooth tire of a racing car ( also called a slick) gives the car a maximum possible area of contact with the road. If racing cars will have to run on wet roads, then the slicks are replaced with treaded tires.

13 comments:

  1. Some interesting posts here!

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  2. hmm. such a very intersting post. i'm not into cars or race cars in this context but thanks for the info. it's good to know infos also. it's part of learning. thanks again!

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  3. Hi Jong,

    I don't know if your into Formula 1 racing, but they will be using a slick tire set up this season. The first race is the weekend of March 26th. You should check it out.

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  4. nice post! i have never even wondered about that or thought of the significance, but this is an interesing write. thanks.

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  5. I do not know much about cars and tyres. This post gives me some interesting and useful information.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Cheers! :)

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  6. Have you ever read "How Does Asprin find a Headache?" You should consider packaging your fun facts into a similar format.

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  7. hi !! nice post.
    i knew about smooth tyres but never wondered why.
    thanks.

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  8. I've often wondered why some tires have no treads, but have never seen a discussion of the issue. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

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  9. Racing tires of all types (car and motorcycle) are made of very soft compounds. As the vehicle travels along the track, the friction heats the tire, giving it a very high degree of adherence with the surface. This is why, when you watch motorcycle races, the bikes are able to lay almost all the way over in the turns. You could never do that with street tires. The trade-off is longevity, which is why in a race, tires are swapped out quite often. There are street tires, like the Dunlop 205 motorcycle tire, that are made of a softer rubber, which is why you rarely get more than 3,000 miles out of them.

    Also, the whole reason for tread is to displace and disperse water on the roadway. Without the treads, the water would build up in a wave that would eventually lift the tire off the road, causing the vehicle to lose control. This is why, as a driver or rider, you need to pay attention to tread depth as your tires wear away. Past a certain point, there's not enough depth in the tread to properly disperse the water, which leads to hydroplaning and loss of control.

    On a side note, inflation pressure is very important. The recommended pressure is always printed on the tire along the bead (inner ring). The weakest part of a tire is the sidewall. Proper inflation insures that the sidewall is properly supported. As the pressure goes down, the sidewall gets more "rounded" which over time weakens it. You can patch a hole in the tread surface, because that's the strongest part of the tire. A leak in the sidewall, however, and that tire's trash.

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  10. have good adherence when asphalt is dry.when is raining they need different tires

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  11. There are solutions which involve fitting bike speedos to the car for a much more accurate speed reading, Cheap Tyres Milperra

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