Hi-Tech Race Cars: Old and New

There was a time at the beginning of race car driving when race cars where simply cars and drivers wore little more than goggles and gloves.  The newest technology was the cars themselves.  Obviously a lot has changed over the last century and increases in technology have improved car performance as well as driver safety.

Modern race cars may look low-tech on the outside but a quick peek inside will prove otherwise.  Roll cages, centralized seating, camera monitoring systems are just a few of the features that give modern race cars an edge over traditional road cars.  They are also equipped with high precision engines, brakes, tires, and transmissions that allow the cars to reach maximum potential.

Driver safety is a huge consideration in modern racing circuits.  Although the specifics vary on the type of racing a few of the most common safety features include flame retardant driving suit, full face helmet, and a head and neck stabilizer.   While it’s impossible to predict everything that could possibly injure a driving during a race, race officials work hard to learn from critical incidents and protect drives as much as possible.

antique race carIt may seem like modern race cars are the only ones benefiting from modern technology; however that is not the case.  Just as some people enjoy restoring old cars, some enjoy restoring old race cars.  Of course, the goal with most restorations is to keep it as authentic as they can but, fortunately they have found a way to embrace the best of both worlds.

Race teams have found ways of outfitting old race cars with sensors like GPS tracking to help them better understand the way that the car performs as well as changes that driver can make.  It is the ultimate coaching method that allows drivers to see their every move, within an inch, and work toward driving their car at its peak performance.  Although these sensors are not allowed at most races, they are generally allowed cameras that will allow them a visual of every aspect of the race to see what went well and what needs to be changed.

Despite the fact that many of these cars don’t even have seat belts they are on the cutting edge of race car technology.  The information that is gathered from these cars will help car manufactures, drivers, teams, and developers build faster, safer cars for the future.

Benny Stone is a amateur car restorer and blogger. In addition to covering topic related to car restoration and car collecting, he sometimes covers American auto racing stars like Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch.