How Racing Technology Is Changing Everyday Cars
It’s great fun to watch Indy or Formula 1 races, especially if you’re lucky enough to be trackside, but the high-speed cars piloted by the world’s best racing drivers seem completely removed from the type of cars that we mere mortals drive on a daily basis. In fact, racing cars and your car may have more in common than you believe, especially if they incorporate these historical innovations from the world of racing that are now part of everyday automotive technology.
Clutchless Manual Transmissions
If you have a modern automatic car you’ll know how easy they are to drive, especially compared to a traditional manual car with an extra pedal and the necessity for the right amount of pressure to be applied to the clutch before changing up or down gears. Most modern automatics also have the option of switching to manual gears, one advantage of which is that you can manually switch to a lower gear to provide greater control on steep hills but without the need for a clutch. This is known as clutchless manual transmission and was first utilized in racing cars where drivers needed to be personally in control of the gears but couldn’t afford to be slowed down by using a clutch to do so.
Push Button Ignitions
You never see racing drivers turn the ignition key to start the engine before a big race and that, of course, is because they use a push button ignition system. It’s such a convenient way to start an engine that the system can now be found in most new models of automobile, often in conjunction with a fob or card that is inserted into a slot or that communicates wirelessly with the ignition system. It’s not without its detractors, as some people report that this makes the vehicles easier to steal, although that’s not a problem that the drivers at the Indy 500 have to worry about.
In the middle of the twentieth century, drum brakes were in common usage on cars, but now they all use disc brakes. They’re much more effective and more durable, and they first appeared in racing cars which needed to be able to stop from high speeds very quickly. Racing technology has transformed and improved much of the technology in a car, but as they become ever more advanced, the role of the auto mechanic becomes ever more important. That’s why gaining qualifications from mechanic schools in GA and beyond can lead to a lucrative and in-demand career, even if you never carry out your work in the high-pressure environment of the pit lane.
Manual transmissions without the need for a clutch, disc brakes, and push-button starting systems all owe their existence in our cars to the world of racing, and you can add superchargers, carbon fiber bodywork, and many other innovations to that list. As a nation, we’re endlessly fascinated by cars, whether we simply enjoy driving them or also work on them as a mechanic, and in the decades to come, they’ll continue to evolve and advance.