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(ESPN)   Gordon claims Danica Patrick has unfair advantage at Indy due to her low weight. Gentlemen, start your whining   ( divider line
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19338 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 May 2005 at 9:42 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-05-29 08:40:35 AM  
Interesting that people take a sliver of information and suddenly become expert.
First of all, the complaint was from Robby Gordon, not Jeff. His complaint was with the IRL's weight rules, not female drivers. His point is valid. NASCAR compensates for weight, IRL does not. Some of you should call the waaaambulance for yourselves. BTW, if Robby Gordon is 6 feet tall and 200 lbs, that hardly qualifies him for fat-ass status.
2005-05-29 08:50:24 AM  
that hardly qualifies him for fat-ass status.

Try saying "fatass asshat status" three times quickly.

/or don't..
//wonders if it drives the punctuation nazis crazy that the quotation marks lean the same direction?
///hope she wins.
2005-05-29 09:01:28 AM  
NASCAR does not compensate for weight. The car is weighed with just the drivers helmet,hans device, and water bottle in the car.....not with the driver.......if Danica would race in NASCAR she would STILL have a 100 lb advantage on Robby.

BTW, the picture of Danica leading that guy around on a leash, it was Tommy Kendall.

/used to work in NASCAR
2005-05-29 09:02:02 AM  
The physics in this thread is mind-bogglingly bad. I'm going to the opposite extreme: my physics is top notch, but my understanding of racing sucks. Oh well, I'll try my best.

1. When driving in a straight line at constant speed: all the of the power from the engine goes to overcoming aerodynamic drag and transmission loss. Her light weight doesn't affect the aerodynamics at all. The transmission loss, which is a small compared to aerodynamics at those high speeds, is going to be less for a lighter driver because there's less friction force on the axles, but it would make a small difference in an already small percent of the retarding force.

So I'd say the difference here would be pretty small, and I'm very suspicious of the 1 mph claim.

2. Accelerating: Lighter driver definitely has an advantage in fuel savings here. It takes less power to accelerate a lighter mass.

What about faster acceleration? It depends on whether power or torque is the limiting factor. If power, then a lighter driver could accelerate faster for the same power input. If torque, the lighter driver probably still has an advantage, but not as much. A heavier driver could apply slightly more torque without spinning the tires, but at the same time, he needs more torque to accelerate. At low speed, where there's not much downward force from the airfoil thingies, it's probably a wash.

I suspect that, at high speed, power is the limiting factor, so a lighter driver would have a fuel savings and/or a faster acceleration. However, the Indy 500 is not a race with a lot of ups and downs in speed; the cars pretty much get up to speed, and stay fast. Acceleration wouldn't be as important as it is in F1.

So I say this is only a minor advantage for the lighter driver.

3. Braking: Someone said a lighter driver could brake later, but I'm not sure I buy it. A heavier driver would have to break harder to slow down, but I doubt there are many normal situations where a driver would have to max out the brakes (here, a crash is dubiously considered an abnormal event). Maybe there's a psychological factor? I don't know.

4. Turns. A light driver could corner turns better. The centrifugal force is proportional to mass, but mass plays a much smaller part in friction on the tires, because the foils exert so much downward force irrespective of the mass. Thus a heavier driver is more likely to skid on a turn.

This, I suspect, is the most significant advantage a light driver has. There's a turn every mile at the Indy 500, and even though it's significantly banked and low curvature, I think it's probably significant enough to give the lighter driver a good advantage. The lighter driver wouldn't have to slow down as much on turns, and wouldn't need to accelerate as much on the straightaway.
2005-05-29 09:07:31 AM  

My argument's right, my math is just bonkers. When you're racing, every little bit of mass saved helps.

Your argument: 'if you increase the mass you're reducing the acceleration by some factor SQUARED.', notice that your capped that word yourself.

I was picking up the fact that because of F = m * a^1, it was not proportional to the square of the delta-m, it's an inverse variation.

Reduce mass by 10%, you'll see a 11.11% increase in acceleration for a given force. Repeat with 20% less mass, the acceleration rises by 25%. I could agree it's non-linear, but it's not quadratic either.

Power and force might be synonyms in everyday talk, but in physics they are two diferent things.

I can agree with you on one thing though: she's hot!
2005-05-29 09:09:04 AM  
Serve up a wah burger and some french cries and join Jenny Craig fatboy !

[image from too old to be available]
2005-05-29 09:10:13 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

Real racecars make right turns too

/except for wingless sprints and midgets on dirt.
2005-05-29 09:16:50 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
(with clicky goodness)

Gordon is whining, but Antoine Smith isn't listening.

What a frickin' wuss
2005-05-29 09:17:44 AM  
Oh, and don't be silly, people. You can't an Indycar on the ceiling, at least not for very long. Sure, the wings could generate more than the car's weight of force, but if you're upside down, but you're not going to be able to put enough torque on the tires to maintain the speed necessary to generate enough lift to keep it on the ceiling.
2005-05-29 09:26:08 AM  
I think Robbie Gordon is a great driver and a big stupidhead. I love to watch him screw things up.

I think Danica Patrick is a decent driver and a stupidhead herself. I've really enjoyed the interviews which show her to be no smarter than a C highschool student. I give her less than 2 years in the IRL.
2005-05-29 09:28:38 AM  
Interview with Robby Gordon about Danica Patrick's weight issue ... sounds fairly accurate to me :-)

Yeah it's harsh ... but I'm hungover and in a sour mood.
2005-05-29 09:45:01 AM  
Certain people are born with certain DNA. This plays a role in the basic features of a person. Height, Weight (in terms of metabolism, weight gain and loss), hair color, size of certain body features....these are some of the distinguishing marks of a human. So Danica is 5'2", 100 lbs....that's practically normal for a female of that build.

Robby Gordon apparently wants to biatch and moan over this because he's not racing the 500 this year (on his own volition, so already he can't complain since he ain't racin' there), and he wants to pick out the lone female driver who would have been sitting on the pole if it weren't for getting sketchy in the first qualifying lap (it takes skillz to regain control of an out-of-control car AND turn in the fastest single qualyfying lap). She's been running the hot laps, while Robby is starting in the latter-middle of the field in Charlotte. He's got a race to worry about tonight....why doesn't that farking redneck shut his pie-hole?

If she makes a good showing, sweet. If she wins, awesome! If she DNFs, I'll hope she walks away unhurt, like any other driver. Still, she's gonna receive a load of experience for the future.
2005-05-29 09:48:36 AM  
Yawn... wake me when she poses for Playboy.
2005-05-29 09:57:50 AM  
If Danica gained 200 pounds she would look exactly like Rosie O'Donnel.
2005-05-29 10:12:47 AM  
Given the formulae described above, I've got to point out that

(potential in volts)=(current in amps) * (resistance in Ohms)

and therefore resistance in Ohms = voltage / current, and most importantly:

current = voltage / resistance.

Therefore, since it is the current that stops a person's heart, Danica Patrick could be electrocuted by some strange (ignition?) electrical fault in her vehicle at a considerably lower voltage than Robby Gordon, simply because her body would present a lower resistance path. So much for her having an unfair advantage.

/Besides, Robby's blubber would probably insulate
2005-05-29 10:21:44 AM  

NASCAR does not compensate for weight. The car is weighed with just the drivers helmet,hans device, and water bottle in the car.....not with the driver.......

/used to work in NASCAR

I guess you say you used to work for NASCAR because you got fired since you don't know that they allow a driver 200 pounds to bring the weight of the car up to 3400 and, if he is lighter, they have to negate the difference by adding weights?
2005-05-29 10:27:20 AM  
A couple things.

1> RTFA its ROBBIE not JEFF. Strangely Gordon is a common name.

2> Suck it up Robbie. IRL/CART/F1 are all based on reaction and experience. If she can run with the big boys all the power to her. That said if she paints that wall at 240+ mph and kills herself...this isn't going to be the sweet mary sunshine story every one is making it out to be. She lacks experience and this field is full of it. And the female factor is going to be pushed hard on her. She'll get boxed, rubbed and clipped before the day is through. If she finishes well it will be accomplishment enough and she can shat in Robbie Gordons cereal. And for the people who be moa racing you don't know thing one about it.
2005-05-29 10:34:11 AM  
uh, forget who the girl is, WHO IS ACTING LIKE THE GIRL?

(Robbie, when your finished putting on your makeup get in the car and race)

what a effing WUSS!
2005-05-29 10:38:59 AM  
Some Bass Playing Guy

uh 2 things,

so if they found a man who weighs like 110, would he be able to still make complaint? so you dont want to race dont race. maybe your team can find a lighter driver, or one that is more of a man...

the other thing,

I see you play the bass, hey man come check out and they may be right up your alley
2005-05-29 11:13:22 AM  
As an F1 fan I'll say this: Gordon is right, the Indy rules are broken. He just pointed it out in a politically incorrect way by holding up a woman driver as the extreme example of the problem. Other racing series set the minimum weight for car+driver. Does the driver's weight make a difference? Hell yes. If you don't believe me just watch an F1 or CART race: the cars are fastest right before their pitstops and are dramatically slower after. That's what a tank of fuel will do. F1 takes car weights extremely seriously. If a car+driver is found to be underweight after the race they are disqualified. If there is even a hint of subterfuge to run underweight there are severe repercussions (this season a team had their results nullified and was banned for two races).

Kudos to Robby Gordon. He may be a whiner (I don't even know who he is), but on this issue he is right: Indy needs to fix their broken rules.

/Raikkonen should have pitted to replace the tyre
2005-05-29 11:14:55 AM  
[image from too old to be available]

/thought it was obvious. guess not.
2005-05-29 11:23:34 AM  
Christ, half those open-wheel guys weigh about a buck thirty or so, why isn't farknuts whining about them?
Shut the fark up, Robbie!
2005-05-29 11:30:14 AM  
And yes, an F1 car can drive on the ceiling at speeds above 125 km/h (exact speed varies from car to car). And no, aerojockey, they wouldn't lose torque (?) and fall off.

/I mean come on, bits of the tyre were flying off for seven laps!
2005-05-29 11:33:51 AM  
FatesWebb: would he be able to still make complaint?

Man or woman, no matter.


I guess you say you used to work for NASCAR because you got fired since you don't know that they allow a driver 200 pounds to bring the weight of the car up to 3400 and, if he is lighter, they have to negate the difference by adding weights?

That's correct.

/_works_ in NASCAR, at least part time
2005-05-29 11:42:51 AM  
Why is everyone getting so worked up over Dave Gorton's opinion on chick race car drivers?
2005-05-29 12:11:48 PM  
Although her rivals in Sunday's race have said she doesn't have a huge advantage, pole-sitter Tony Kanaan told reporters he would like the IndyCar Series to look into the issue.

Kanaan weighs 150 pounds. Check it out.

Why does Kanaan weighing 50 pounds less than Gordon not matter at all, but Patrick weighing 50 pounds less than Kanaan would?

They couldn't care less what she weighs. Just trying to fark with her head.

/if it mattered the Olsen twins would win every year.
2005-05-29 12:23:43 PM  
I didn't read ALL the posts, but if Gordon is complaining about her weight being an unfair advantage, then they should have weight-classes of racing like boxing or wrestling. That makes as much sense as HIS argument
2005-05-29 12:40:49 PM  
Yes, but that weight advantage is cancelled out by her applying makeup and yakking on the phone to her girlfriends during the race.
2005-05-29 12:47:00 PM  

And yes, an F1 car can drive on the ceiling at speeds above 125 km/h (exact speed varies from car to car). And no, aerojockey, they wouldn't lose torque (?) and fall off.

You're full of sheet. A simple calculation proves it.

The equation for lift is L = 1/2 rho V^2 S CL. rho is air density, V is air speed, S is wing area, CL is lift coefficient.

I estimate the total area of the front and rear wings to be 15 square feet (excuse my use of imperial units, it's how I learned it), and that's being generous. V is 114 ft/s; rho is 0.0023769 slug/ft^3 at sea level standard day; and an F1 car weighs 1334 pounds. Solving for CL:

CL = 1334/(0.5*0.0023769*114^2*15) = 5.75

That's a pretty high lift coefficient. Maximum lift coefficient in an airplane is typically 2.0ish. Formula 1 cars certainly use airfoils with higher maximum CL; getting up to 5.75 is pushing it, though, especially considering ground effect (which works against the car). Even at 200 km/hr, the lift coefficient is still pretty high at 2.3.

I suspect you're just regurgitating something some dopeball with a sketchy grasp of physics on an F1 television show said. He probably was explaining that, at 125 km/h, the downward force exceeds the weight of the car, so that above that speed it could drive on the ceiling.

Well, he's wrong, even in we accept the dubioud 125 km/h claim. If the car were driving at that speed on the ceiling, the net force on the tires would be zero. You'd have to be going quite a bit faster to maintain enough downward force on those tires where you can maintain that speed without spinning the tires.
2005-05-29 12:58:11 PM  

[image from too old to be available]

2005-05-29 12:58:46 PM  
Firefly4F4 :

As far as including `distance' in your calculations, this is not a rocket in outer space. It's a car. There's air resistance, rolling resistance and lots of other things. Distance, the way you're trying to include it anyways, really doesn't come into it in any race over 100 feet.

Ultimately, adding 100 extra pounds to a 1625 pound car (which is what you get when you go from a 100 to a 200 lb driver) will reduce your acceleration *from rest* by about 6% (and note that this is porportional to the added weight, not the added weight squared.) and will reduce your top speed by a tiny amount (as air resistance will remain pretty much the same, but rolling resistance will go up slightly.)

She has an advantage. Good for her -- so do the horse jockeys. If the guys can't outdrive her, they'd better get their asses on a treadmill or they risk getting their butt getting kicked by a girl. Or worse, getting their jobs being given to a girl.

It's good to know that physics degree is good for something, though none if this is any more advanced than the first year of physics classes.
2005-05-29 01:21:50 PM  
It's not a case of whining about low weight; it's a case of whining about his low testosterone.

That guy has pussy envy.
2005-05-29 01:22:58 PM  
Wow. You can hear the once mighty Indy penises shrinking from here.
2005-05-29 01:43:16 PM  
Why isn't he whining about the other drivers that are 5, 10, 20 lbs lighter than he is?

New NASCAR rules: all drivers must weigh exactly the same.

2005-05-29 01:49:35 PM  
Patrick currently in 4th. Still early though, just 53 laps in.
2005-05-29 01:59:56 PM  
Just announced: Danica Patrick first woman to lead a lap at Indy 500.
2005-05-29 02:01:46 PM  
she is now the first women to ever lead a lap at indy
2005-05-29 02:21:41 PM  
Actually, the "adding weight" thingy is exactly why jockeys are as small as possible. When you're riding a horse, it's most efficient and predictable to have as much weight as possible to be evenly distributed on either side of the saddle. The jockey moves around while riding, so his weight is not always evenly distributed. Ergo, make the moving weight as small as possible and the stationary weight as large as possible, within weight limit rules.

Same will start to apply for racing, and we'll see more advantage for smaller people. The part I'm not sure about, is that in auto racing, the driver doesn't move much; so the net effect is probably negligible.

In any case, (Robby) Gordon's still a whiner.
2005-05-29 02:49:48 PM  
Verne Troyer should race Indy
2005-05-29 02:57:52 PM  
Too bad she has that major disadvantage of being a women and not knowing how to use a clutch.
2005-05-29 03:04:57 PM  
dont worry guys we all know that she forgot to check the oil and will blow her motor soon.
2005-05-29 03:21:45 PM  
what's so hard about this?

one man, 2 or more men.
one woman, 2 or more women.

and after the lap 150 pit stop, Danica is still right in it while some other drivers have been taken out by some rather boneheaded moves.
2005-05-29 03:22:03 PM  
It's a good thing the Indy 500 doesnt involve backing out of a garage and not hitting a mailbox...
2005-05-29 03:31:32 PM  
she just wrecked
2005-05-29 03:32:23 PM  
great move danika!!!
2005-05-29 03:32:39 PM  
She really farked up
2005-05-29 03:33:50 PM  
It looks like she caused that wreck, but ABC doesn't seem to want to admit it.

I'm so tired of hearing about her. I don't even actually know who's leading the race, the coverage is so skewed.
2005-05-29 03:37:25 PM  
ABC'S coverage:

2005-05-29 03:39:44 PM  
It's been 10 minutes since I turned it on... I STILL DON'T KNOW WHO'S WINNING!!

All I know, based on the coverage, is that Danica Patrick is the next coming of Christ.
2005-05-29 03:46:13 PM  

And people who talk about Patrick's ability being rooted in a natural physiological advantage rather than driving skills: natural physiological advantage is ALWAYS part of an athlete's ability. Not everyone can become a professional basketball player even if they train really, really hard.

I believe you are incorrect, and you are comparing this to incomperable sports. I think the point is that, like horse racing, auto racing is supposed to be a measure of the vehicle's/horse's performance and driver's/jockey's skill, which is why there are weight regulations. I may be completely wrong, but I believe jockeys under a certain weight have to add weight to their saddle to equalize the playing field. The race is supposed to measure which horse can carry a set amount of weight the fastest, and Gordon believes that is what auto racing should measure as well. The weight regulations should include the driver's weight, so that we are not adding another unwanted variable to the equation that will affect the sport.
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