If you're gonna sim-race, then you better know the lingo. Here are definitions of both legitimate words, slang words and phrases commonly used in sim-racing. Don't wonder about the meaning of these words ever again. tnx to www.rimcotech.com A-J A AERO Commonly used abbreviation when referring to the all-important science of aerodynamics. AERO PUSH When following another vehicle closely, the airflow off the lead vehicle does not travel across the following one(s) in a normal manner. Therefore, down-force on the front of the trailing vehicle(s) is decreased and it does not turn in the corners as well, resulting in an "aero push." This condition is more apparent on the exit of the turns. AERODYNAMICS The science of understanding different forces acting on a moving element in gasses such as air. The application of this study to racing is credited with much of the sport's recent progress as teams learn more about drag, air turbulence, and down-force. ADDING SPOILER This is a term used to describe the changing of the direction of a spoiler or wing on a race car. Usually adjusting the angle of the spoiler creates down-force and gives more grip on the race track. AIR DAM A metal strip that hangs beneath the front grill of a stock car, often just inches from the ground. The air dam helps provide aerodynamic down-force at the front of the car. AIR PRESSURE With the advent of radial tires with stiffer sidewalls, changing air pressure in the tires is used as another setup tool that is akin to adjusting spring rates in the vehicle's suspension. An increase in air pressure raises the "spring rate" in the tire itself and changes the vehicle's handling characteristics. If his race vehicle was "tight" coming off a corner, a driver might request a slight air pressure increase in the right rear tire to "loosen it up." ANGLE OF ATTACK The angle of an Indy car style wing. The angle is varied by track to produce optimal down-force and minimize drag. ANTI-ROLL BAR A lateral torsion bar used to resist or counteract the swaying force of the car body through the turns. APEX The geometric inside center point of a corner. In racing, a driver will often use a "late apex," turning into the corner a little later than normal in order to straighten out the last part of the corner. This allows the driver to accelerate earlier and harder, gaining maximum speed down the next straight. APRON The paved portion of a racetrack that separates the racing surface from the infield. It is usually flat in comparison to the racing surface. B BACK MARKER A car running off the pace near the rear of the field. BACK OFF To slow down; often said of a driver who is attempting to pass and realizes he can't make it, so he backs off to try again later. BACK OUT When a driver takes his foot off the gas pedal (all the way or part way), he "backs out" or "lifts off." BALANCE When a car doesn't tend to over-steer or under-steer, but goes around the racetrack as if its on rails, it's said to be in balance. See Neutral BANKING On oval tracks, the corners are often tilted inward to provide faster speeds. On some road courses, certain turns may actually be banked outward, a very difficult type of corner known as "off-camber." BANKED TURN A turn that's inclined so the outside area is higher than the inside area. BEND A shallow turn. BERM Raised sections of asphalt or cement which runs along the inside and/or outside of a turn, usually painted colors to offset it from the track. Primarily used at apexes and track-out points as a driver’s aid. BLACK FLAG The signal for a driver to come into the pits, usually to allow officials to inspect it to determine whether it can run safely after an accident. It may also mean that officials have already decided the car is to slow or too dangerous to continue running, as when it has a serious oil leak that makes the track slippery. BLUE FLAG This flag is displayed by corner workers around the track to signal to a driver that a faster car is either approaching (steady flag) or attempting a pass (waved flag). The driver being flagged has no obligation to do anything other than be alert, maintain the racing line and avoid intentionally obstructing the faster car. BINDERS Brakes. Used in the expression "jumped on the binders." BITE The amount of traction that a race car has at the rear wheels. Adjustments can be made to the car that puts more "bite" into the rear tires by adding weight or wedge to the car. BLIND TURN A turn in which the driver cannot see the apex or track-out until it is reached. Sometimes due to elevation changes, but can also be due to visual obstructions such as Armco, tire walls, or other barriers. BLIP THE THROTTLE To tap the accelerator pedal when downshifting in order to match the revolutions of the engine to the revolutions of the transmission to keep the drive wheels rotating smoothly. BLISTER Excessive heat can make a tire literally blister and shed rubber. Drivers can detect the problem by the resulting vibrations and risk more serious damage if they choose not to pit. BLOCKING Racing term for changing position on the track to prevent drivers behind from passing. Blocking is accepted if a car is defending position in the running order but considered unsportsmanlike if lapped cars hold up more competitive teams. BLOW UP Irreparable engine failure which ends a racer’s day. BLOWER A slang term for Supercharger. BLOWN ENGINE 1. An engine that has completely failed. 2. Slang term for a supercharged engine. BOBBLE A miscue by a driver. BOOST The amount of pressure generated by a turbocharger or supercharger as it forces the air/fuel mixture into a forced induction engine. BOW TIE Nickname attributed to Chevrolet based on the likeness of its logo. BRAIN FADE A lack of focus that can lead to making a mistake during a race. BRAKE BIAS In most cars, including street cars, pressing on the brake pedal applies a little more force to the front brakes than the rear. This is designed to take advantage of the fact that under braking, weight transfers to the front of the car. With lots of weight on the front tires, the brakes can be applied very hard without completely stopping the wheels from rotating ("locking the wheels"). At the same time, the rear of the car tends to get lighter, so the rear brakes must be engaged less than the fronts to avoid locking the rear wheels and possibly losing control. In a race car, brake bias is adjustable by the driver to compensate for changing conditions, such as on a wet track where there is less weight transfer to the front of the car under braking, or to adjust for a changing center of gravity as fuel is burned off. BRAKE FADE Loss of braking effectiveness, usually caused by overheating. Brakes transform motion into heat. The heat in the rotors of a car can reach 5,000 degrees F. When the fluid in the brake system exceeds its boiling point due to hard use, bubbles can form in the brake lines and calipers. Since these bubbles can be squeezed smaller by pressure from the brake pedal, the pedal tends to "go soft" and may even go to the floorboard without the brakes working properly. BRICKYARD Nickname given to the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) which, although paved now, used to have a brick surface. The track hosts the Indy 500 and NASCAR's Brickyard 400. BURN OFF Burning fuel during the course of a race. As fuel is burned, the car becomes lighter and its handling characteristics change, challenging the driver and crew to make adjustments to achieve balance. C CADENCE BRAKING An advanced driving technique used to allow a car to both steer and brake. It is accomplished by pulsing the brake pedal to alternate between wheel lock-up and wheel rotation. This method is not as effective as threshold braking. CAMBER The angle that wheels are tilted inward or outward from vertical. If the top of the wheel is tilted inward, the camber is negative. CART Acronym for Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc., the sanctioning organization for the PPG CART World Series. CASTER Another measure of chassis tuning related to the front wheels. The front wheels are attached to the suspension at the top and bottom of the wheel assembly. The top attachment is typically set a little farther back than the lower attachment, creating caster. The more caster used, the more the wheel resists turning forces, providing stability. Too much caster makes it very difficult to steer, and causes the tire camber to change significantly as the wheel is turned. Not enough caster results in the front end "wandering," or trying to turn on its own. CENTER OF PRESSURE The point on a Indy car under-wing which receives the greatest amount of airflow pressure. This measurement is critical to setting front to rear balance, especially on superspeedways. CHASSIS The basic structure of a race car to which all other components are attached. Indy cars have carbon-fiber monocoque "tubs" while a NASCAR stock car has a steel tube frame chassis. CHASSIS ROLL The up-and-down movement caused when a car travels around corners at high speeds. The side of the car facing the turn becomes lighter while the extra weight goes toward the outside of the turn. CHECKED OUT Expression when the leader drives away from the rest of the field and will seem impossible to catch. CHECKERED FLAG The black and white checkerboard style flag which signifies the end of a race. CHICANE A man-made corner set up to reduce speed at a certain point on a road track. Also referred to as "esses"." CHUNKING A softer compound rain tire will shed pieces of rubber if a track becomes too dry. CHUTE A straightaway. CIRCUIT Any race track. Also refers to the entire slate of races on a season schedule. CIRCULATING Driving around a track with a damaged and/or slow car to accumulate laps and, more importantly, points and prize money. CLEAN AIR Air without turbulence created in the wake of other race cars. Clean air is found at the very front of the field. CLIPPING Minor contact between race cars. Also often refers to hitting precisely, or "clipping," the apex of a turn. CLOSED-WHEEL CARS The suspension, wheels and tires are mostly covered by the body. Production-based race vehicles such as NASCAR stock cars are examples of closed-wheel cars as opposed to open-wheel "formula" cars. COCKPIT The area where the driver sits in a race car. COLLECTED When a car is caught in an incident that they did not cause. If a car spins and is struck by a second car to a stop, the second car is said to be collected. COMBINATIONS Combinations of engine, gearing, suspension, aerodynamic parts, and wheel and tire settings which teams forecast will work under varying conditions and tracks. These combinations (also known as set-ups) are recorded and used as baseline when teams arrive at a track. COMPOUND The rubber blend for tires. In some series, teams can choose their tire compound based on the track and weather conditions. A softer compound tire provides better traction but wears out much faster than a harder compound tire which doesn't provide as much grip. COMPROMISE CORNER See Type 3 Corner. CONSTANT RADIUS CORNER A corner in which the turning radius is constant. CONTACT PATCH The small portion of the tire that makes contact with the racing surface. This is one of the more important elements of a driver’s success, different modifications to the car’s body and tires can help the driver get a good contact patch. CORNER WORKER Volunteers who staff corners to notify drivers of any dangerous situations in the area. COSWORTH Engine manufacturing company which has cooperatively developed racing motors with Ford for many years. Named after co-founders Mike Costain and Keith Duckworth. COUNTERSTEER Turning the front wheels in the direction of a slide to prevent the car from spinning out of control. CURB See berm. D DARLINGTON STRIPE A NASCAR term for getting the right hand side of the car close to the outside wall and rubbing the sheet metal and paint. DAG Acronym for "Data Acquisition Geek," a computer expert who maintains a team's Data Acquisition system and analyzes the data. DATA AQUISITION Teams use sophisticated sensors, transmitters, computers and software to provide information on what the car and the driver are doing. Everything from engine stress to the driver's heartbeat can be monitored. The information is analyzed to improve handling, performance and even driver technique. Data can be acquired by connecting a computer to the car or by wireless telemetry. In sim-racing, this data is recorded during a race and is accessible to be analyzed, sometime with additional software, much like in real racing. DECK LID The trunk lid of a stock car. DECREASING RADIUS CORNER Where a turn becomes tighter before it’s exit, requiring progressively more steering input. DICING Close, exciting driving between 2 or more racers. Positions are exchanged frequently. DNF Did not finish. DNS Did not start. DNQ Did not qualify. DIALING IN This refers to the driver and crew making setup adjustments to achieve the car's optimum handling characteristics. DIRT TRACK A track that is not paved, with dirt, clay, or a mixture of the two. DIRT TRACKING Driving hard into a corner on a paved track causing the rear end to swing out wide as if on a dirt surface. DIRTY AIR The turbulence created in the air flow behind a race car. DOWNFORCE The downward force generated as air flows around a moving object. Indy series vehicles use wings while NASCAR vehicles use rearend spoilers to create downforce. DOWNSHIFTING Shifting from a higher to a lower gear, used in road racing to slow a car without any significant change in engine speed. DQ Disqualified from the event. Usually for safety reasons, the car not meeting certain standards, or for negative behavior. DRAFTING The aerodynamic effect that allows two or more cars traveling nose-to-tail to run faster than a single car. When one car follows another closely, the one in front cuts through the air, providing a cleaner path of air and less resistance for the car in back. DRAG A term used in auto racing that relates to anything that causes wind resistance or affects the aerodynamics of air flow over the race car. DRIFT or DRIFTING A controlled, four-wheel slide through a turn, to get a car line up for a straightaway with a minimum of steering. DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP Points are awarded at each race based on finishing position. The driver accumulating the most points by the end of the season wins the drivers' championship. A similar award system is used by most major series for a manufacturers' championship. DRIVE WHEELS The wheels that provide propulsion to a vehicle. The front wheels in front-wheel-drive cars and the rear in rear-wheel-drive cars. DRIVING AWAY This is when a driver is pulling away from the field with little challenge from anyone else in the race. DRY WEIGHT A car's weight without any liquids such as gas and oil. DROP THE HAMMER Means a driver puts the petal to the metal. DRY LINE A clear (or dry) line which develops after rain because of more frequent use. E EARLY APEX A driver turns into a corner early. ECONOMY RUN Driving slower to conserve fuel. END PLATE The vertical end piece of a wing. ESSES A series of acute left- and right-hand turns on a road course, one turn immediately following another. E.T. Elapsed time. F F1 Abbreviation for Formula One. FAST QUALIFIER The driver that had the fastest lap during qualifying. FIA Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. This is the governing body for most auto racing around the world. FIELD The group of cars that starts a race or the total number of cars in attendance. FILL THE MIRRORS A driver is pressuring another driver so feverishly that the rear-view mirror is filled their pursuer. FISHTAIL Movement of the rear end of a car from side to side. Also a verb, as in, "His car is really fishtailing as it comes out of the turn." FLAGMAN The person standing on the tower above the Start/Finish Line who controls the race with a series of flags. FLAT SPOT When drivers lock up brakes, they expose one area of their tires to excessive wear causing flat spots to develop. Flat spots lead to vibrations which may require a tire stop. FLAT-OUT At top speed; with the accelerator to the floor. FORCED INDUCTION When air is forced into an engine to increase horsepower, such as with supercharging and turbocharging. FORMULA CAR Formula cars must fit within a specific set of design rules or "formula." The formulas are usually quite complex, but basic issues include minimum weight, engine displacement, vehicle dimensions, wing sizes and placement, ground-effects tunnel size and configuration, tire and wheel size, and safety considerations. FRESH RUBBER A new set of tires acquired during a Pit Pass. FULL TANK PRACTICE Ordinarily, teams fill their fuel tanks for the last practice before a race to test handling characteristics. Before then, they practice and qualify with limited fuel to decrease weight and gain speed. G GASOLINE ALLEY The garage area at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. GAS CAN Large steel can used to fill the tank of NASCAR racers during a pit stop. A car usually holds two 10 gallon cans of fuel. GAS CATCHER The person on a NASCAR pit crew that uses a small catch can to catch the overflow of gas from a rear pipe as the tank is filled on a pit stop. GAS MAN The person on a pit crew with the job of filling the car with fuel from either a can (NASCAR venue) or from a filler hose (IRL, CART or F1). GATOR STRIPS A berm with exaggerated raised portions, often rough enough to deter drivers from driving over them. GAVE UP Drivers use this to describe a mechanical part that fails. GOES UP THROUGH THE GEARS Refers to a driver up-shifting from the lowest to the highest gear. GOT UNDER A driver out brakes an opponent on the inside of a turn and makes a pass. GRAND PRIX This French term meaning grand prize is widely used to refer to a race. At one time in racing, it was used exclusively for a series' grand finale, usually the most important race. GREEN FLAG The green flag is used by the starter to signal drivers that the race is under way, either at the start of the event or at the conclusion of a full-course yellow flag condition. Green flags are used by corner workers on road courses to let drivers know that they have passed beyond a yellow flag area and may resume passing. GREEN TRACK A track that has little or no rubber on it from previous races. A green track is a bad condition that allows little or no traction for a race car. GREENHOUSE The upper area of the race car that extends from the base of the windshield in the front, the tops of the doors on the sides, and the base of the rear window in the back. Includes all of the A, B and C pillars, the entire glass area and the car's roof. GRID The starting order of cars, as determined by qualifying position. GROOVE The unseen “line” that provides the fastest way around a racecourse or racing circuit. The groove is not a fixed point or “trajectory” as it may change during a race. The groove may depend on such factors as temperature and moisture, as well as oil, water and rubber deposited on the track during a race – all of which impact race conditions to various degrees. GROUND EFFECTS Aerodynamically designed parts which are fitted to the lower areas of a car to create additional down-force. Many production car owners add ground effects more for style than function. GURNEY FLAP A vertical extension to the back edge of an Indy car wing invented by racing legend Dan Gurney to generate more down-force, especially at higher angles of attack. This device is usually made of metal, aluminum or carbon fiber and is also known as a wickerbill or a return. GYMKHANA A competition in which cars are driven around a twisting course, executing certain specified maneuvers, against the clock. H HAIRPIN A sharp, 180-turn which exits in the opposite direction a driver enters. HAMMER DOWN The driver has the pedal to the metal or has "dropped the hammer" full throttle. HEEL-AND-TOE A driving technique in which the accelerator is operated with the right heel and the brake pedal with the toes of the right foot. This allows the driver to 'blip' the throttle to bring up the engine revolutions to match the transmission revolutions, keeping the drive wheel rotating at a constant speed. HOLE SHOT A drag racing term for beating an opponent off the starting line and winning a race despite having a slower elapsed time. Other racers use this term to describe a good start or restart. HOLDING UP TRAFFIC When a slower race car causes cars running faster on the track to slow and does not heed the "move over flag" of the race officials. HOOKED UP A car that is performing great because all parts are "hooked up" or working well together. HORSEPOWER The estimated power needed to lift 33,000 lbs. one foot per minute roughly equated with a horse's strength. HOT LAP A car(s) is running at or near racing speed on the course. HOT PITS A car(s) is/are on the track. Only crew members and racing officials are allowed into the pits for safety reasons. I IMS The Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Also referred to as the Brickyard. IMSA The International Motor Sports Association. The North American road racing sanctioning body featuring prototype GTS sports car series. INCREASING RADIUS CORNER A corner in which the radius increases as you progress through it. Vehicle speed can usually be increased sooner through these types of corners. INFIELD The enclosed portion of a track which includes team garages on most oval tracks. During race weekends, this area is usually filled with large transporters, merchandise trailers, and driver and fan motorhomes. INSIDE GROOVE OR LINE On an oval track, this is the innermost racing line which is usually separated from the infield by a distinctly flat surface called an apron. On road courses, the inside groove refers to the line closest to the curbs or walls forming the inner portion of turns. INTIMIDATOR Dale Earnhardt’s nick name because of his driving style, which some might call reckless. IN THE FENCE A phrase used to describe the wreck of a race car involving several cars or only one car. J JUMP THE START To start before the signal is given; usually in drag racing but sometimes in other forms of racing. "He jumped the start".