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One of the main problems with wheels is that they have a relatively small contact patch for their size. Open wheeled race cars have to deal with a lot of areo-drag caused by the wheels. My idea (ignoring rules compliance) is to replace the 4 wheels with 4 flattened smooth rubber tracks. They'd create
a lot more rolling resistance, but would give a MUCH larger contact patch, thus allowing cars to corner harder. Reduced drag would also be a plus. Getting the tracks to withstand the forces of a 200mph car would be the biggest engineering challenge.
This company makes tracks for trucks [thejini, Apr 13 2005]
(?) Tyrell P34
Six wheels, no tracks. [AbsintheWithoutLeave, Apr 14 2005]
||Six-wheeled F1 cars were experimented with way back. They were technically superior to their 4-wheeled counterparts, but financing tyre development for the smaller wheels was a problem.
||"Getting the tracks to withstand the forces of a 200mph car would be the biggest engineering challenge."
That's pretty much where I was going to go with an annotation. I'm worried about the forces involved and the inability for the front and back of the track to be going in different directions and speeds; something that a standard 4-wheel (or unorthadox 6-wheel) setup can do.
||This might make a hit in drag-racing.
||Skid steering at 200mph would be quite an experience.
||skid steering could be ruled out in the sense of operating the the rear brakes indivually you could hava a half track arrangment retaining the front wheels with tracks on the rear for better braking and acceleration and decreease the likelyhood of a rear end slide or you could have have the steering axle at the rear and the track up front and drive through the tracks or use could have a steering wheel to operate the tracks