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Practical Corner Weighting: 50/50 Weight Split

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50/50 Weight Split

04.13

00:00 - If you're the kind of person who often tunes into popular car shows like Top Gear or you've ever watched Formula 1, you might have heard the term 50/50 weight distribution, particularly when reviewing a new car or maybe when a race engineer is talking about achieving the perfect balance.
00:16 If this is the case then what they're referring to is a perfect weight distribution of 50% across the tyres of the car.
00:24 Through this next section of modules, we'll be covering some of the key concepts you need to understand in order to balance your car correctly when corner weighting.
00:33 It's generally understood that having a close to symmetrical weight distribution will massively improve the vehicle's stability when cornering and its consistency of performance out on the track.
00:44 Perfect weight distribution essentially refers to when all four wheels of the car are pressing down onto the surface of the road with the exact same amount of force or in other words a 25% split of the car's weight at each corner.
00:58 For some, the assumption is that all vehicles are set up like this from the manufacturer, however anyone who has corner weighted a car before will know that this simply isn't the case.
01:09 This is mainly due to heavy items inside of the car that are not positioned perfectly centrally in the vehicle such as the driver, the engine, passengers and fuel.
01:18 All of which will affect the final corner weight.
01:21 Often vehicle manufacturers will advertise a 50/50 weight distribution, telling you that the car has a perfect handling setup.
01:29 In reality this isn't always ideal for the racetrack and it isn't always true.
01:34 When talking about weight distribution, it can be described in a couple of ways.
01:39 A front to rear ratio, a side to side ratio or a cross weight ratio.
01:44 And vehicle manufacturers often won't elaborate on which one they're actually talking about.
01:49 This can make the subject of weight distribution slightly confusing and can leave a lot of people wondering what to aim for when setting up their car for the track.
01:59 When you're trying to set up your car to achieve a better balance, there are two main aspects that you have to consider, the first is what I mentioned a moment ago, the ratio of weight from side to side.
02:10 This is expressed as the left weight percentage and this basically means the weight on the left hand side of the car compared to the overall weight of the car.
02:20 The way you work this out is by adding the weight of the left front and left rear tyre and adding these together.
02:26 Once we have this total, you then simply divide this number by the total weight of the car and the result will be a percentage value.
02:35 The next aspect you need to work out is the cross weight percentage.
02:38 This is similar to the previous calculation only this time you take the weight of the front right and left rear tyre, add these together and then divide by the total weight of the car.
02:50 Both the left weight percentage and cross weight percentages are topics that we will cover in detail in the next modules and are fundamental parameters you need to calculate in order to corner weight your car effectively.
03:02 The theoretical perfect result for these percentages for a circuit car, which we want to handle evenly in left and right hand corners, would be a score of 50%.
03:11 We'll get further into this topic as we go through the course but it's worth mentioning that there aren't a lot of absolutes in motorsport and often we may end up with a faster lap time by biasing the car's handling so that it corners better to the right than the left.
03:26 This may make sense on a clockwise layout racetrack where there are more right hand corners than left hand corners for example.
03:33 It's also worth mentioning that achieving this split is only possible when the car is stationary and on a level surface which in a motorsport environment is called a flat patch or pad.
03:44 When the car is in motion, the bumps and undulations in the road as well as the cornering forces, mean that the loads on the corner of the car are constantly changing and moving.
03:53 This is why we must set the car balance in a static location.