Automoción y Mecánica del Automóvil

Street Racing


Street racing is something that almost every teen and many adults have done at some point of

their life. It is a very fun thing to do, but it is also very dangerous sometimes even fatal. It is also a

chance to show off your ride and its power. Street Racing has a long story, it has been practiced since

the beginning of the 1920's, so it's nothing new. It takes a lot of time and money to build a car worth

racing, and to keep like new. If you race and you loose more than the race you can change the way

you live forever. Today's media also encourages people to race on the streets, they make us think that

street racing its ok. You can also get in serious trouble with the law and you parents.

There has always been street racers since the first car was made, everyone wanted to show the

rest that they had the prettier and the fastest car on the block. Every since Henry Ford made his first

car the Quadricycle on June 4, 1896 in a tiny workshop behind his home on 58 Bagley Avenue, he put

the finishing touches on his gasoline powered motor car. After more than two years of

experimentation, Henry Ford at the age of thirty-two, had completed his first experimental

automobile. (pg. 7) Henry Ford began to make cars affordable for the people of that time. After some

time people noticed that they could race the newly invented machines and have some fun.

The Chicago Times-Herald race was the first motor car race in America. Announced in June

of 1895, it was not so much a race as it was a contest, an invitation to test the viability of a self-

propelled vehicle. The contest required vehicles to have at least three wheels and be able to carry at

least two people, one of whom was to be an umpire selected by the judges to ride with the driver

during the race. Entrants also had to run their vehicles through a preliminary test. The cars were

placed on a machine built by the Chicago City Railway Company that simulated road conditions.

Officials measured and noted various aspects of the automobiles' performances, (fuel consumption,

load capacity, tractability, etc.), and compared these findings against the horse and wagon. The race

course ran from Chicago to Evanston and back, a distance of about 50 miles (80km). The November

cold and the terrible road conditions took their toll early. The two electrics dropped out as their

batteries died. The two Benz automobiles also broke down. The Duryea, however, made consistent,

steady progress, but at a rate of under 10 m.p.h. It crossed the finish line just after 7 pm. An exhausted

Frank Duryea climbed down from the vehicle. He had been driving for over nine hours. And that's

how it all began, this small piece in history marked the beginning of what now it's a hobby for some

and a profession for others.

Later on, the age of the muscle cars came, the mid 60s to late 80s were a time when the most

powerful cars this country has ever seen owned the streets. Cars such as the Camaros, Mustangs, the

breathe taking Trans Am, and many others, this cars had really big engines, this awesome cars were

powered by V8s V10s and V12s, all of them were engineered and manufactured with the best

materials of that time, even though these cars can reach top speed of 100 mph, they can get from 0 to

60 in less than 10 seconds. The Yenko Camaro 427 is a typical example: it came from the factory with

no ornamentation, badging, and the 427 engine in a crate. Yenko installed the 427 block, changed the

rating to a more realistic 450bhp, and added 15-inch rally wheels, bigger front roll bar, and sYc

(Yenko Sports Car) badging. A full complement of racing add ons were available and sub 13 second

quarter miles were possible with a few more dollars.

Now in this times it isn't very common to see a car with an engine that big, almost every car

has a small but reliable V4s, but don't worry, there are ways to make your car feel like a powerful V8,

there is a wide range of upgrades and parts for your engine, like the common Turbos, Intercoolers and

Superchargers, all of these parts increase the power of a car by more than 30%. Even a small stock

turbo like a 4G63 can add 70 more horsepower to your car, that reduces the ¼ of a mile time almost

by 4-5 seconds depending on the driver. An intercooler upgrade is something is a must, you can

choose from an Air-to-air system and a air-to-liquid system, both systems are designed for the

same thing which is to cool the intake charge, the main difference is size, it just depends on your

needs. A mid engine vehicle such as the Pontiac Fiero, needs an air-to-liquid intercooler. An air-to-air

intercooler would cause several problems to a car like this one, first of all running the intercooler

pipes from the engine in the rear of the car all the way to the front increases turbo lag, dampens

throttle response and would be far more expensive than the air-to-liquid system because of all of the

unnecessary modifications.

All of this sounds good doesn't it? Yes, it does, but you have to be careful and think before

you buy something you have to think about your engine specs, like the engine compression rate,

because if you want to put a T4 turbo, ant the biggest supercharger there is, you will surely blow your

engine and end up buying a new engine. Clearly, the only type of performance that matters is

reliable performance and detonation is the single biggest threat to engine reliability. The boost range

for reliable performance, without detonation, can be determined by looking at the type of supercharger

technology being considered, and the compression ratio of the motor. With a lower compression ratio,

an engine can safely handle more boost, everything else being equal. Similarly, if the temperature of

the compressed air is lower, an engine will have a much higher detonation threshold (the point at

which fuel ignites without a spark), and will be able to safely handle more boost. The amount of heat

produced (adiabatic effiency) by each supercharging technology is what determines the boost

limitation. While gear-driven centrifugal is clearly the superior supercharger technology, it is also

clear that the biggest benefit comes from intercooling. These calculations assume moderate timing, 92

octane pump gas, and a good supply of fuel to the cylinders. As mentioned previously,

detonation is the single biggest threat to engine reliability. It is heat and detonation that

cause blown head gaskets and burned pistons, not boost. Achieving maximum performance

from a given engine while avoiding detonation requires the right combination of intake air

temperature, timing and fuel quality. For example, without intercooling a stock 5.0 with 9.5:1

compression ratio can only hold 5-6 psi of boost before detonation becomes a problem. The

only way to safely run more than 6 psi of boost and still make a meaningful increase in power

without an intercooler is by using racing fuel to avoid detonation.

Now that we know about the amazing things that a simple turbo or the most simple

modifications for your car can do to it makes us want to go and buy the biggest and the best turbo

available, but is not as easy as that, this kind of modifications require a lot of time and money. The

most important upgrades that you have to do are very expensive, the range of prices is very wide, you

can find some products for less than $100, and some of them can cost as much as $5,000. for example

a turbo from Greddy for a Nissan 350Z costs around $6,000. now this is a basic bolt-on kit, it costs

even more to make further upgrades, those prices scare most of the car enthusiasts out there.

Nobody said that pulling out a decent project will be easy, and cheap. Maintenance costs are really

high too, let's say that the turbo started to leak oil and it smokes, you might have to buy a new turbo

(not cheap) or in case you are not a mechanic be ready to pay from $50-$60 dollars an hour plus parts

at any auto shop. For example let's say that you are out one night on the street and there is this one car

that looks just like yours, it even has the same color, and then you both decide to race, you are head to

head but his car is just lighter and it's beating you, after a while you hear an explosion under your

hood, and smoke starts to come out, then you panic, well congratulations you've just blown your

engine, now many parts of the engine are damaged, maybe the whole cost of the parts needed and

labor rates overpass the cost of an Imported engine from Japan, this engines are practically brand new,

because they only have 30,000 miles max. So be prepared to spend some serious money.

Now that we know what kind of sacrifices you have to make if you want to call yourself a

“respectable” racer. Or get a “name” on the streets. So the main question is, Why do teens race? Why

do they go trough all that trouble just to have fun.

For teens, the need to feel adrenaline running trough their veins is common, sometimes that's

a good and healthy thing but sometimes it can be dangerous and even deadly. An estimated 4,000

teens die every year in car accidents, and more than 30% of those deaths are due to speeding. So why

do they do it, some might say rebellion against traffic laws, and someone else might say just for the

fun of it. As a person who used to race I can say by experience that pride is the primary factor, kids

just want to show to the world that their cars are the best there is, they want to show the girls that they

are better than the next guy. Teens just want to show that they have what it takes to beat anyone.

“Speed is like a drug, after you have some you just want more and more” says José Días, 20. he got

his license suspended for two years for street racing on a industrial area. Some kids race for the pride

of it, and sometimes they race for money, they say it makes it more interesting, I can say that racing

for money gets you pumped up, now you don't think about showing off, now you have to win because

you have to win. Last week Daniel Vargas lost his whole paycheck on one night, there was this nice

looking Mitsubishi eclipse, now Daniel owns a 98 Honda Civic SI. The Eclipse looked like a stock

GS, and Daniel's SI had some work done in it, They decided to bet $200, Daniel was sure to win, but

he didn't know that under that Eclipse's hood was hiding a GReddy turbo, well Daniel lost the race

and his $200 too. It's all about the pride.

So how can a 16 year old afford a good car to start a project?, well some, work entirely for

their car, they spend their whole paycheck on parts and accessories, and their parents are the ones who

prove them with the car, I know many kids who depend on races to win money, some kids win around

$500 in one night, that's more than money that some earn in a week of work at a local Wendy's. once

you build up a respectable car, there's nothing that can stop you.

But what drives teens into the streets and show off their rides, well today's media has a lot to

do with it, Movies such as The fast and the Furious, 2Fast 2Furious, Gone in 60 seconds practically

say that racing is Ok, it' cool and you can get away with it very easily, in this movies the racers do

what they want, they make police seem like spectators who cant do nothing about it, well they are

wrong, when 2Fast 2 Furious hit theaters a last year, police knew that teens who watched the movie

wanted to race even more, that's why police officers outside of the major theaters on California were

waiting for kids to get out of the theater and race, it is amazing how many kids raced that night, and

this shows the huge impact that this kind of shows have on teens. I asked one of the officers how

many cars have they pulled over that night and he told me that he had pulled over more than 20 cars,

and this was at 12:00 am, he said that he was expecting some 50 racers more that night. This kind of

movies give a false sense of security, the characters in the movie seem to fly on their cars at speeds

above 130 mph. Seems like they can handle the cars at such speeds an still be able to make sharp turns

without loosing control of the car, Len Pagano, president of the Safe America Foundation, attributes it

to feeling overly confident behind the wheel. He says: “We all have this false sense of security when

we're in a car that we're protected from things outside the car. The one thing we don't recognize is

that's usually true when we're traveling 30, 40, 50 miles per hour, it's just not the same reality at 80,

100, 120 miles per hour.” He says for some kids, speed is exhilarating, and the risk of dying isn't very

real. But what they don't show in the movies is when you miss the turn and you crash into the light

post, that's what happens to kids everyday. Parents must be aware of entertainment products that

glorify extreme driving and illegal street racing including DVDs, home videos, and computer and

video games. Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. The

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers a crash to be speeding-related if the driver

was charged with a speeding-related offense or if an officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for

conditions or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash. In 2003,

speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes, and 13,380 lives were lost in

speeding-related crashes. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA),

motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 16 to 20. People tend not

to take the risk of death into consideration

Street Racing is just plain dangerous, and you just can't take chances, Teens should think of

the harm that they can do to themselves and others, kids must realize that life is too beautiful to end it

in less than a minute. They should realize that kids die everyday due to speeding.

If you get caught racing by a police officer, you can't even imagine the trouble you can get

into, you can have your license suspended for a long time, maybe you might loose it forever, your

parents might take away your keys, and you loose the most important thing, trust. It is practically

impossible to get someone's trust back, even though they might say that they trust you in the back of

their mind they don't. In the worst scenarios when someone's death is involved the driver can get

charged with murder, it doesn't matter if it was intended or not, you can still be charged with

manslaughter too. It's all about responsibility, teens have to take more seriously the laws and

consequences that come with every decision that they make. It is their parents obligation to teach their

kids about this stuff..

Well many people would say that they haven't seen a street race in their whole life, well teens

tend to race in isolated highways or very late a night, the place where you see more racing in is State

Street on Fridays around 12:00 am, it is crazy, there's people everywhere, dozens of kids being pulled

over and some kids who are dumb enough to think that they can outsmart the police.

So now I ask you the question, is it worth it?, I can truly say that it is not worth it, you put too

much at risk when you race on the streets, leave the racing for the race tracks and the professionals, it

is something that is illegal and dangerous, It costs a lot of money and you might end up someone.

In conclusion, street racing is something that almost every 16 year old has done, it's nothing

new, it has been around us for years and years. It costs a lot to maintain a “suped up” car, so think

twice before getting into something that it's just impossible. And if you decide to race be ready for the

consequences, think about the people that can get hurt including yourself. Don't believe everything

that you see in the movies, don't think just because your speedometer says that your car's max speed

its 160 mph means that it's ok to drive that fast

Enviado por:Miguel Guañuna
Idioma: inglés
País: Estados Unidos

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