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Dec 13, 2007

Racecar Engineering December 2007 - Ferrari tire gas mixture

Racecar Engineering is the automotive magazine you probably have never heard of. They carry them in some Barnes and Nobels, but they are a little hard to find. Its a UK based technical magazine about the racing industry. Its expensive - about $9.99 an issue, but it has some really great information. More than most people would ever want or need, but if you are really into competition, this is a magazine for you. Lots of up close pictures and analysis of race car competition.

The December 2007 issue covers some of the technical information that was passed from Ferrari to McLaren in the spy scandal from last year. One part that was interesting was the use of specialized gases in the tires of the Ferraris. Most people use air in their tires , some race cars , even the new GT-R, use nitrogen in their tires. What Ferrari found out though , was by using a combination hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) - based mixture specially made for use in racing tires. This mix greatly extends the performance of the tires over a number of laps. For instance in the Ferrari testing after 23 laps , tires filled with air had about 40% of the performance of a new tire , where the HFC mixture had 80% of the performance of a new tire.

The mixture of gases also allowed for a much longer tire life before bursting. Where nitrogen would last for 64 minutes before bursting , the gas mixtures allowed the same tires to last from 94 minutes to 103 minutes.

Very interesting . Has very little to do with street cars, but in other series , we might start to see them using this new mixture, or a combination of mixtures in tires to increase performance. Having run in a series that used a spec tire , over a 50 minute race , if given the ability to get this gas mixture to put in the tires , I think most of the racers would use it.

Racecar Engineering

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