One of the most important aspects of any race car are the tyres. The team has learned getting the tyres to run at exactly the right temperature and pressure is vital to consistent lap times and tyre longevity.
As a general rule of thumb you want a race tyre to hit between 30-34 psi dependant on tyre make. If you can get them to this magic number then keep them there for the entire race then they will reward you with a consistent handling car while extending the life of the tyre, Win Win!
This however is a little more difficult when there is a lot to take into account.
Firstly New Zealand tracks vary in the surface quite a bit, also I am using air due to convenience and budget, as opposed to a more stable gas like nitrogen or a mixed gas system. This means on average I am starting with between 22-25psi in the front and 21-24psi in the rear. Other aspects like track surface temperature, grip levels, suspension setup and track layout make enough difference at each track to give quite a few things to think about on the day. So the most important thing to do is keep a log book of all these parameters so you can build up a database on which you can set your car up more accurately and quickly the next time you are at the track with the same conditions, the last thing you want to do is turn up and say, Hmmmm! can anyone remember how we set the car up last time? Oh well this will be close enough!
To help with tyre monitoring LJ Racing has gone high tech and fitted a tyre temperature and pressure monitoring system to the slick tyre set of wheels to see if this can be of any benefit. The big advantage will be live monitoring while on the track, something i have not had at this stage. Up till now we have had to come in off a hot lap and check in the pits, while this is still a fairly good and pretty much the only way most teams can check tyre temps and pressures, I still don’t really know what the tyres are doing through the windy loaded parts of the track, so live monitoring should give us a real eye opener to whats going on, hopefully some good will come of it.
The system comprises of aftermarket retro fitting monitoring tyre valves in to the wheel and a dash mountable monitor in the car, the system updates near on instantly, is compact, wireless and has on-board batteries so you don’t need a wired power plug but has the ability to run that way if you want.
Each wheel runs a color coded tyre valve for easy reference as you may want to swap wheel positions on the car. Then it is a simple case of going in to the menu and setting the new position n the dash monitor. A very handy function.
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