Circle Of Traction Theoryracingpartsales
What is circle of traction theory?
The circle of traction theory is a way to express how much traction is available for a given type of tire. The image above is a visual representation of the circle of traction. When you have a tire on the racing surface there is a certain contact patch that is generated between the tire and the surface depending on the load that the tire is asked to support. Tires have more traction available as vertical load increases, but this tapers off after a given point. Depending on the force applied, the components that the tire is constructed of – and the steering input applied generating slip angle your tires contact patch has a place in this circle of traction. The more force you apply with your accelerator pedal (represented as climbing higer on the acceleration force line in the circle (red line) ) the contact patch moves towards the total capability of the tire (outside of the circle). The more steering input (blue line) that is applied- the more the force travels along the force line for turning right. Where these two intersect is where your contact patch is on that circle of traction. If you go to extremes on any force applied like a full throttle acceleration or a up against the lock steering turn you can see how your contact patch travels outside that capability circle. When this occurs is typically when your butt muscles tighten up a little bit because your car has lost control.