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Does it really help to put your head down on the straights?

I'd like to start a discussion about the various factors at work in "ducking" on the straights. 

 

Superficially, it seems like a no-brainer: Less wind resistance = good idea. But I vaguely recall one discussion (on karting1.co.uk perhaps?) that claimed the time gained is negligible, and it's better to look at and concentrate on the race. Also, my son reported that on a damp track, ducking made him noticeably slower -- because he was pulling on the steering wheel to get lower, and thus removing weight from the rear wheels!   That could also be a factor on a dry track. 

What do you think? 

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http://www.scribd.com/doc/22119271/aerodynamics-drag-for-go-kart

Tim Walters said:

@Josh - I would like to see that. 

josh dorn said:
i think i have some documents on kart aerodynamics specifically CFD work,  i think i remember reading that a kart generates 3kg of LIFT at a certain speed - not downforce.  ill try find the info if anyones interested.

Ever seen footage of Barry Sheene in the 70's on a GP bike? Throttle arm straight, left arm tucked behind his back down the straights (middle finger often raised). He was superman in those days.
 
Bruce Otter said:

I like to hold one arm out in front like superman cos hes fast,and he wears a suit too.maybee i need to get a cape as well

As long as you keep looking forward and not at the floor pan its whatever you believe, if you believe it helps then it does.

The heavier the driver, the slower the go-kart (ask me how I know)... if THAT technology could be transferred to real cars it would solve a lot of issues.

essay typer for go-kart journal, James A. Do.

 

Old discussion, so back to topic.

Both of my sons could lap 1.5 seconds faster than me.

However, I always achieved 100, and sometimes 200 RPM more than either of them down the main straight.

Same gearing, but I was 10Kg heavier.

One of my sons offered the following explanation:

"It's because you're a short arse dad, and you drag less air."

 Possibly answers the question.

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