Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cat Handling

It becomes quite easy to think about car handling if you look at cats. No seriously, hear me out and I’ll explain why the humble feline is in fact the perfect analogue for how a car is supposed to work



Maddie, being a young mum bringing up a family of kittens is conservative and wants safety first for her runs for food. She is careful and wants to arrive so she understeers – she lacks front grip but thats okay that keeps her speed down. Her front paws wash out on tight corners so she reacts naturally and backs off, weight shifting to the front paws and hence more grip and tightening the line. Misses the apex but hey, she still took the corner. Rear paws dont do a lot of work

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Rally Ed


Ed is light, fast, highly maneuverable and clearly has about as much oversteer as a Mk II Rothmans Escort


A lack of rear grip is his problem, not having big enough paws for the amount of power he wants to put down. The front has good initial bite and he handbrakes like a champion. Much like Ari Vatenen, the speeds he tries to carry does get him unstuck and frequent crashes occur. However he is very throttle sensitive and reacts well to sudden changes of direction.

Gelignite Jack


A most curious puzzle I thought observing. He had a very different set of handling characteristics reminisent of Maddie, is a younger but quite a deal bit larger kitten than Ed, but suffers none of the understeer issues, as well as holding a far higher cornering speed and ability to accelerate. So as I was studying his handling while he was pulling max g in the kitchen that he reminded me of…


Even sounds like one too.

And in all sadness that’s how I worked out a handling issue on the WRX and came to the conclusion I had a blown strut. Since then I’ve also worked out that cat handling is indeed completely relevant to cars – and set up a mini skid pan in the kitchen to see how each cat reacts to a slippery surface. 1/3rd of a cup of water over the entraceway, a note pad and a few neat treats for cats to come running to. And indeed, Ed screams in at 10,000 rpm and slides out like a mad drifter, Maddie is relaxed and has a mild slide, while GJ keeps it flat and does a long AWD drift with the weight shift noticeable as he adjusts traction front to rear.

I’ve also been able to work out how to make the turn tighter so I can experiment with different setups, like if GJ has more castor.

Sadly no pictures as I really didnt expect this to work.

But then again this is Cat Handling by Stig


Very Big, very heavy, takes a long time to wind up, cant stop in a hurry…..


Annnnnd there you go. How I’m working out handling issues.

posted by admin at 8:56 pm  

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