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ERIC Number: EJ1044226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
The Physics of Bump Drafting in Car Racing
Fiolhais, Miguel C. N.; Amor dos Santos, Susana
Physics Education, v49 n5 p693-696 Nov 2014
The technique of bump drafting, also known as two-car drafting in motorsports, is analysed in the framework of Newtonian mechanics and simple aerodynamic drag forces. As an apparent unnatural effect that often pleases the enthusiasts of car racing, bump drafting provides a unique pedagogical opportunity for students to gain insights into the physics of drag in moving vehicles. In the context of a physics undergraduate course, it is shown that the dynamics of two moving cars in the same air slipstream on a straight line allows them to increase their speed up to a factor of v2. This conclusion is also extended to an arbitrary number of n identical moving cars, resulting in an increase of vn .
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A