Joseph Henning Professor Presnell ENGL 1103 11 November 2012 Racing Innovation on the Street If it moves, chances are

someone has tried to race it. All through history, individuals have had the need for speed, and in the spirit of competition, people always try to go faster. This racing spirit is undoubtedly a great motivation to innovate. As auto racing sprung up and took hold in the twentieth century, a new breed of engineer was born. The hardcore racer ranged from a wealthy investor to a shade tree mechanic, but in any case, wanted to go faster. Competition became a great motivator for new designs, and fresh ideas were always being introduced on the track. Cars were being developed at the racetrack. As someone who has many hours working on cars, I have always been interested in the technology behind them. As a racer who has turned many laps behind the wheel of a go-kart, I understand the thrill of competition and how racers strive to find a little extra speed. As a fan, I watch cutting edge racecars on track every weekend. What I did not know much about was the link between the three, so I set out to find out racing innovations have affected the modern passenger car. How have the technologies of racing carried over to the everyday passenger cars that carry us to work? How have early racers shaped modern passenger cars? How is modern racing changing cars today? The Early Days: A look in the Rear View Mirror
Comment [4]: bpresnel: not sure you need the questions. You've set it up well to move on. Comment [5]: sdycus2: I've never really thought about the correlation between everyday cars and race cars. Thoughtprovoking topic! Comment [3]: lsustar2: good use of personal experience Comment [2]: Very good intro.! It's simple but it does a great job catching the reader's attention Comment [1]: bpresnel: good opening line

The very first Indy 500 winning car featured something entirely new and groundbreaking that we all take for granted now – a rear view mirror. As described by Automotive Engineer, in 1911 Ray Harroun built a car that stood out from the rest, the Marmon Wasp. Harroun was an engineer for the now long gong Marmon company, who was assigned to both build and drive a car to represent the firm. He focused on saving weight, and came up with a car that was considerably different from any other in the 500. What made the Wasp unique was that it had only one seat. Back in those days, endurance racecars always had two seats - one for a driver, and one for a mechanic who would fix the car when it rattled apart. Harroun, however, believed his car would stay together though. He built his car smaller and lighter than all the others by eliminating the mechanic. There was really only one problem with this. Drivers had no way to see who was coming up behind them. They relied solely on the mechanic to inform them of cars behind and pulling up alongside. Harroun had the creative idea of making a bracket to mount a small mirror to the dash of his car. The first rear view mirror had been built.
lsustar2: i agree, very interesting! Comment [6]: privera2: Hmm! That's very interesting.. I didn't even know there were cars with no rear view mirror

Many officials of the first Indy 500 thought this was dangerous and wanted to require Harroun to have a passenger, but the rules described no such requirement. In a controversial decision Harroun was allowed to race. Five hundred miles later, Harroun’s car was in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis motor speedway, having won the inaugural running of what would become America’s most historic race. Within three years, production cars everywhere were featuring mirrors to see behind them (“Milestones”). Small, Lightweight, and Economical: The Front Wheel Drive In the interest of total honesty, it must be admitted that the first front wheel drive vehicles were tractors. The first front wheel drive cars, however, were built for the racetrack (Becker). In
Comment [7]: sdycus2: I really like the fact that you start off with a narrative story to go along with all of the facts. It gets the reader hooked into the paper.

the very beginning, temperamental innovator John Walter Christie was racing front wheel drive creations at local fairgrounds around the country. His inventions would die out, but later in the twenties a new inventor would take on the challenge. Harry Miller, financially backed by wealthy racer Jim Murphey, would build several front-wheel drive cars. Though Murphey was known mainly for board track racing, an old style of auto racing that took place on small tracks made of wood planks, Miller used his expertise to build Murphey’s ideas into successful racecars. The pair had a good bit of racing success, and others began to take notice. In a brief spurt of front wheel drive success, a front-wheel drive car won the 1924 Indy 500 (Halliday). Despite this, front wheel drive was not yet practical for street use. Mechanically, no one had found a smooth way to connect power from the engine to a wheel that could steer and pivot. The early front wheel drive cars would never be practical for street use. Finally in the 1930s, the CVjoint was invented in France, and front-wheel drive became practical (Becker). By this time however, racers had realized that rear wheel drive handled better on the track, so with the exception of a handful of Indycars, there were few more attempts at front-wheel drive (Haliday). The technology would be later revived in the 1970s, when gas shortages and environmental restrictions demanded lighter, more economical cars. For the same reason that early racers had favored front wheel drive, the auto industry was embracing it (Becker). Nowadays the vast majority of street cars are driven from the front wheels. Further Indycar Innovations The American Indycar series has been both a development ground and a proving ground for many great ideas. As I said before, it started with Harroun’s mirror in the very first race. Harroun is also credited with introducing streamlining, the idea of smoothing out the shape of a car to reduce wind resistance. Harroun’s 1911 Wasp (Milestones”). Modern cars put a huge
Comment [8]: bpresnel: you're fond of these in-text citations, but they're beginning to proliferate. Some source intros? Some direct quoting mixed with paraphrase would also add style variety and texture.

emphasis on aerodynamics in order to get better fuel economy, hence the distinct shapes of hybrids like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. Then in the 1930s, the first turbocharged diesel engines were raced in the American Indycar Series. Two decades later, in 1952, a turbo-diesel took the pole position for the Indy 500, qualifying faster than any other car (Halliday). Once again this technology would be put away for years, but clean turbo-diesel technologies have finally taken over a chunk of the production car market in Europe. They are also becoming increasingly common in America, with Volkswagen’s 42mpg Jetta TDI leading the way. The groundbreaking powerplant originated on the racetrack. Many other engine technologies have been born in racing and moved to the street. Honda’s V-tech engine technology was invented for racing motorcycles. It uses variable valve timing to have the engine operating at peak performance at a variety of engine speeds. The additional benefit is that the engine is also at peak efficiency, consuming less fuel and lowering emissions. After dominating in motorcycle racing Honda moved this technology to the Indycar series, and now uses it on every Civic and Accord to get better fuel mileage (Halliday). Even four wheel drive was first introduced in Indycar, though it is now mainly use on SUVs. In 1932 a four wheel drive car won the Indy500 (Halliday). It wouldn’t be until Audi’s Quattro cars in the 70s that all wheel drive caught on for street use. And of course, Audi’s Quattros were designed for the racetrack (Halliday). The technology that pulls every Suburban through the snow actually was created for racing. A Green Racing Future? Time and time again, attempts to get every bit out of a racecar have made cars on and off the track more efficient. Now, as we look for alternative fuel sources, it will be interesting to see
Comment [10]: bpresnel: great line Comment [11]: privera2: Can you elaborate more on this technology? bpresnel: yeah. Comment [9]: lsustar2: what purpose did it serve in racing? bpresnel: good question. Control? and is it still used?

how racing embraces or rejects green technology. As explained by David Pearson of the Wall Street Journal, The Le Mans Sports car series in Europe has recently incorporated hybrid technology into its rulebook. Hybrids are encouraged under the current rule set, and because of their efficiency they are beginning to dtake over the series. Just this year, Audi AG’s Williamsequipped R18 e-tron Quattro won the famous 24 Hours du Le Mans race in France (Pearson). Hybrids are already beginning to dominate, and it is clear they have a strong future in racing. Meanwhile, in Formula One, a technology called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is being developed. This uses spinning disks to store energy under braking, and release it under acceleration. This could potentially quite a bit of energy in city driving, if the technology is successfully moved over to production vehicles (Pearson). Manufacturers are beginning to realize racing can be a great way to develop future green technologies. What It all Means The competitive spirit has led to many great inventions. Racing has actually been a development ground for many great inventions, and continues to be this way today. There is more and more to be learned through racing, as people push the limits and look for any competitive edge possible. Mankind’s greatest accomplishments have come from competition. People will continue to race, and hopefully continue to provide unforeseen benefits in the pursuit of speed. Racing and street cars have been intertwined from the very beginning for obvious reasons. From the very beginning, racers mechanic/drivers were innovating with their cars, only to have the auto industry catch on later. Now, as factory race teams are spending millions on

Comment [12]: bpresnel: interesting thought

Comment [13]: privera2: Adding your personal opinion would make this paragraph even better. Since you're a racer yourself, I'd like to hear what you think about this new technology and if this could possibly change your experience while driving?! bpresnel: not a bad idea jhennin7: I think I'll add this to the conclusion. You're right that I should add more opinion, and I'm hoping this could bring the end of my paper to life.

research and development, there is more potential than ever for race teams to change the everyday automobile. Best of all, others have recognized the potential for racing to change cars, even the world. Manufacturers and series officials alike are now pushing green technologies. As racers spend incredible amounts of time and money on outdoing one another, they will be simultaneously finding ways to save the environment. Of course racers will still be focused on speed. Lap times will be the focus, and the benefits will be in many cases unforeseen or secondary consequences. Nevertheless, racecars have and will continue to influence road cars in positive ways. Already, there is a little bit of racecar in every vehicle on the road.
Comment [14]: bpresnel: I'm not reading anything new in this paragraph. It seems like a summing up of all that's been said earlier. Since you've done such a good job of intertwining your personal 3-way experience, think about what YOU have learned, been amazed by, or disturbed by as you've found out more about this area you love.

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