The two main weather readings you need for drag racing
Acquiring weather data makes you a faster and more consistent drag racer as it allows you to make fine tuning adjustments based on current conditions… but what data should you be looking at? A weather station can provide you with an array of information, but it can quickly become overwhelming for someone without any prior experience. Fred Bartoli from Altronic shared with us the two most important weather readings for data analysis in drag racing.
Different weather factors can impact how your race car will perform, but density altitude (DA) and wind speed / direction are critical readings to pay attention to. These weather factors will have the biggest impact on your timesheet and should be considered whenever you make any adjustments. It doesn’t matter if you are a bracket or heads-up racer, having accurate AD and wind speed / direction readings is a requirement if you are to win.
DA is a term rooted in aviation, and Bartoli explains how it is used in the automotive world.
“Density altitude is generally used in aviation as a means of assessing the take-off and landing capabilities of aircraft. When talking about the aviation relationship, the pure density calculation is used to determine the lift on the wing of the aircraft. Density altitude with respect to an internal combustion engine requires a different calculation, because the factors that make up the density of air, such as oxygen and water content, affect engine performance differently than it does. wing of an airplane.
While you can’t feel DA on the trail, you can feel the wind and what direction it is coming from most of the time. Wind speed and direction will change how your car operates and you need to have an accurate measurement of it to be sure any adjustments you make will do what they’re supposed to do.
“Wind is a major contributor to the variation in a vehicle’s performance as it moves down the drag strip. Trying to predict an ET or run on a clue without considering the effect of wind speed and direction will leave you at a significant disadvantage. Wind is, unfortunately, a factor that Mother Nature can constantly change, but looking at the average and gust information at the time of the race can allow you to make the best judgment on its effect, ”explains Bartoli.
A weather station like the Altronics PerformAIRE is the best way to get the most accurate DA and wind speed / direction readings on the runway; the station has prediction sensors and calculators that examine how the weather will affect the performance of your racing vehicle.
“Because slight changes in air density, as little as a degree of temperature or an MPH of wind, can affect a car’s performance by 0.01 seconds, enough to lose a heat. This shows you how essential it is for the weather to be measured down to the minute and on the race track. Using a local weather service or your phone’s weather app can not only provide you with weather updates from a location an hour away, but they usually don’t update that weather. only a few times per hour. At any time of the day, especially in the morning and evening, the DA can change hundreds of feet in 15 minutes, ”explains Bartoli.
If you would like to know more about the products Altronics offers for weather monitoring, you can go to the company’s website by clicking on this link.