Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ultimate Motor Racing

Giant Leaps from Formula 1 Safety Standards

How far can driver safety be stretched in motor racing? If speeds much greater than those in Formula 1 need to be achieved, safety needs to be revolutioned. F1 safety standards may be high, but they are not satisfactory for the kind of racing and the speeds (average speeds above 350 kph) I envisage for UMOR (Ultimate Motor Racing). I can't accept death or even serious injury (broken vertebrae, neck, broken limbs, paralysis, head injury, etc.) for drivers. Even speed isn't a worthy cause to die for. Human life is precious. We'll come to circuit and spectator safety in subsequent posts. In this let's concentrate on cockpit safety.

I'm not an engineer or a scientist, so I'm not sure about many things. But I invite suggestions from readers who may be professionals in various fields to contribute their ideas. I'm here only suggesting a few ideas. If they're laughable - forget it. But if not, develop on it and get back to me:

Is it possible for a driver to be relatively insulated from the vibrations and g-forces experienced in the cockpit that generally contribute to driver fatigue? We've heard of Colin Chapman's "double chassis" technology in 1981 but later banned in Formula 1, but is a double cockpit possible? My idea is to place the driver and his cockpit in a cocoon (the second cockpit). Of course, this will require the use of fly-by-wire technology for driver controls. But if the double cockpit technology is successful, safety will make a giant leap ahead in motor racing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

UMOR - Ultimate Motor Racing

This is to all motor racing and Formula 1 fans and journalists out there: There are plenty of motor racing series , but are these truly living up to the full potential of what a motor race can achieve and entertain? In other words, is motor racing, of the kind we have around us, really giving us the raw experience of seeing some people deciding to race each other hard with their machines to see who wins, which is truly what motor racing originally is about?

Or are we, through Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans Series, WRC, rally raid, etc. getting compartmentalised motor racing where team orders, corporate interests, politics, team polemics and personal financial greed interfere and decide the ultimate results? Think, folks! Think deep and you'll find that if you're honest with yourself the answers to the first two questions would be "no" and that of the final question would be "yes."

Time to revolutionize Formula 1 and motor racing
You may think that I'm trying to stir up a revolution, but this is serious. I'm a genuine fan of motor racing, particularly Formula 1. Having watched it since 2000 and read about and experienced through the Internet the earlier eras, particularly the Senna-Prost-Mansell-Piquet era, I - having a genuine love for motor racing and desiring to see it spread all over the world to a greater section of people - have been grieved what the so-called pinnacle of motor racing gives us. Formula 1 has team orders, greed of commercial owners, politics of the governing body, and business motives of corporate-owned teams. Where is the true spirit of people getting together to race the heck out of their machines and win, for the sake of it?

We aren't experiencing unadulterated motor racing through Formula 1. It is all sophisticated (I'm not talking about technology), manipulated and money driven. It isn't a sport or a pure motor race, but just a cash cow to feed some businessmen who parade their product (not sport) around as the ultimate level of motor racing - far from it.

The need for a BIG CHANGE
Having thought quite hard about it, I felt there's got to be a better way of running a motor race, of giving people the true spirt of competition, and getting this sport to a larger section of people around the world, and not just a few rich individuals. That was when I dreamt of a "brave new world," where motor racing is pure, as it should be and gives even more thrill than a soccer game. That was when I conceived the idea of UMOR - Ultimate Motor Racing, not merely a new series but a completely new manner of running a race and governing motor racing around the world.

I'm just framing the rules and all the related stuff. But I'm not in the business, and I live far away from Europe. I need someone (a journalist or anyone in the business) to take my ideas forward and present them to Williams, Ferrari, McLaren, Ganassi, Penske and other Formula 1, IndyCar and worldwide racing teams, once I've completed the rules and polished my ideas. In the mean time interested individuals can come up with their own ideas of UMOR and present them to me. Please, make this dream of genuine motor racing come true. Watch this space in the days and months to come...

UMOR - Ultimate Motor Racing is completely revolutionizing the kind of motor racing we have today to bring the sport back to its original purpose - pure racing and nothing else. Racing shouldn't take a step back every year but always a step forward.

The goal of UMOR is to consolidate the various kinds of motor racing into one series with various classes. The top line UMOR prototype must be able to race on regular circuits, ovals, street courses as well as gravel and other rough surfaces. Apart from regular races there will also be speed runs and rally format racing.

I need engineers, aerodynamicists, journalists and fans to come up with fresh ideas with regard to the following:

Race car design:- Gone are the days of aesthetic racing cars. Modern Formula 1 cars are ugly, thanks largely to the narrow track (width between the tyres),skinny tyres, raised nose and stepped floor. We need a racing series with prototypes (open wheel as well as other types) that are aesthetically pleasing to watch, as in the early 80s.

Safety:- Driver safety concerns cause the FIA to limit top speeds and engine power in Formula 1. But are our safety standards enough? The head of the driver is still vulnerable and however strong the carbon fibre monocoque of the Formula 1 car may be, the driver still risks breaking limbs. Secondly, g-forces and their negative effects led the FIA to reduce cornering speeds (for which the narrow track was initially employed in Formula 1 in 1998 and narrow rear tyres in 1993). What is needed is a cockpit and head protection mechanism that is not only strong but also insulates the driver from experiencing tremendous g-forces (double cockpit or cockpit connected to hydraulic shock absorbers...), so that he can push more and cars can get even faster.

Circuits:- As cars get faster circuits will have to change, in that flag waving by marshalls will have to make way for electronic signals. Marshal posts must be fully closed, be at a safe distance from the track, and made of high strength material. Spectators must also be placed behind much stronger barriers.

Engines:- UMOR is the ultimate form of motor racing and thus the engines must be the among the largest and most powerful racing engines out there to bring in the awe factor and also make cars extremely and blindigly fast. But they also have to incorporate hybrid and other green technologies to dramatically reduce fuel consumption.

That's all for now, but I'll get back with more detailed points, rules, the works. Till then all you bright minds, come up with ideas, add them in the comments. This is to make motor racing withstand the future and bring greater joy to the world at large. So please, help make the UMOR dream a reality.