Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Science & Technology: Fun Facts About Cars We All Should Know


Audi A3 Sportback
Winner of the WhatCar? Car of the Year 2013 Award
Image from Telegraph

I'm curious. Since I have been practising driving recently, I started to be curious about topics related to cars and driving, especially the mechanics of a car.

What is Rallying?

Some many years ago when Jeremy Clarkson was still young...


Did the British really invent rallying? I have no idea, but I'm sure that other countries will disagree with Jeremy.

What is rallying? That' a long story that goes back to the first Monte Carlo Rally in January 1911, I can't help but going into Wikipedia to get my answer. We all should in fact, but here's a summary:

Asphalt / Tarmac
Image from Wikipedia

Gravel
Image from Wikipedia




Rallying is a car race going round specific courses or on all sorts of surfaces and terrains such as asphalt / tarmac, gravel, dessert, snow or ice with much emphasis on timekeeping.


What is Drag Racing?


Quite simply, a race between 2 cars in a straight lines at a fixed distance, using whatever cars you've got, original or modified.


How Does Steering Work?


Centre of turning circle
Image from HowStuffWork?

Rack-and-Pinion Steering
Wheel turns at different angle
Image from HowStuffWork?


This is hugely complicated and I am tempted to simplify things here, but I can't. HowStuffWorks? has an excellent detailed diagrammed explanation, so you are advised to read that.

Recirculating-ball Steering
Image from HowStuffWork?

Ball bearings fill the thread
Image from HowStuffWork?


Unless you want something very visual and simple, and you can watch the following video till the 2:00min mark.


How Formula 1 Steering Wheels Work?

Let's welcome world-class F1 driver Lewis Hamilton for the explanation.



Coming up in the next blog entry, we'll talk about electric vehicles.

Vocabulary:
terrain -- (n)[U] an area of land, when considering its natural features:
asphalt / tarmac --(n)(also tarmacadam) trademark (an area of) black material used for building roads, etc., that consists of tar mixed with small stones
gravel -- (n)[U] small rounded stones, often mixed with sand:


Resources:

Rallying @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rallying

BBC: Rallying and British Attitude- Jeremy Clarkson's Motorworld @YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG9PjMBk4o8

Drag Racing @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_racing

Drag Racing - Top Gear - Series 19 Episode 2 - BBC Two @YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_c1H60zlW0

How Car Steering Works @ How Stuff Works?
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/steering.htm

Lewis Hamilton explains how Formula 1 steering wheels work
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM6_BfZGElk

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/terrain?q=terrain+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/tarmac?q=tarmac+
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/gravel?q=gravel+

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