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Abbreviation for Formula One.
Flagging and Communications, aka corner workers. Flaggers, communicators, safety staff at the corners of a track.
Side exhaust valve and overhead inlet valve.
A term designating the "Big Three" auto manufacturers, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. The "factory days" refer to periods in the 1950s and '60s when the manufactures actively and openly provided sponsorship money and technical support to some race teams.
Factory Equipment
The standard and options that make up the equipment of a used vehicle.
Factory Team
A team owned or operated directly by an automobile manufacturer.
False Grid
Area where cars form up before going out for practice or races.
An electrically or mechanically driven device that is used to pull air through a radiator or oil cooler. Heat is transferred from the hot oil or water in the radiator to the moving air.
Fan Belt
Transmits power from a crankshaft-driven pulley to an engine fan and other accessories.
Fan Fin
A fin on top of the hood of an IRL car, behind the air box and just forward of the rear wing. The main purpose of the fin is not aerodynamic, but rather to have a large vertical surface to paint the car's number on, in order to make identification of the cars at speed easier.
A car that has an unbroken curved line from the top of the roof to the rear bumper as opposed to a drop in the line for a near-vertical rear window. In a fastback design the rear window slope follows the unbroken roof line and is often at less than a 45 degree angle.
Formula Club
The main event at a weekly racing session or regional (or, less commonly, a national) event. Typically, a short track running weekly racing will have several classes, and each class has a feature (possibly more than one) where most of the money and points for that class are awarded. Starting positions for the feature are often determined by running heat races.
Feul Cell
A type of fuel tank that has a rubber (or similar) inner lining, to contain the fuel if the outer tank is punctured. Most also contain a foam or metal-mesh filling, which prevents fuel sloshing and keeps the flame out of the tank if a fire occurs. Invented by Firestone.
Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. This is the governing body for most auto racing around the world.
A very tough and durable plastic material with fibers running through the plastic. Used for race car bodies, many sports car bodies, and also enjoys considerable acceptance for passenger car bodies.
The total group of cars that starts a race. May also refer, colloquially, to the group of drivers and teams that competes regularly in a particular racing series.
Fifth Wheel
Provides a flexible connection between the tractor and the trailer.
Figure-8 Race
Pretty much what it says; a race run on a figure-8 shaped track. (Generally, this is done by paving two lanes in an X shape through the infield of a conventional oval.) Naturally, in a Figure-8 race, there is an intersection in the middle of the track, which the cars must navigate to avoid wrecks with crossing traffic. Figure-8 was once run strictly as a novelty event, and it pretty much died out in the '70s, but recently some tracks have been reviving it as a serious but low-cost division.
Fill the Mirrors
A driver is pressuring another driver so feverishly that the rear-view mirror is filled their pursuer.
Final Drive Ratio
The reduction ratio of the transmission gear set furthest from the engine. In other words, the ratio of the number of rotations of the drive shaft for one rotation of a wheel. In general, a low final drive ratio results in better fuel efficiency, and higher final drive ratio results in better performance.
Fire Bottle
A brand name for a model of fire extinguisher designed to be used in a race car; sometimes used to refer to a fire extinguisher in general.
Fire Suit
The suit worn by the driver (or others potentially exposed to fire, such as a gas man), consisting of several layers of a fire- and heat-resistant fabric such as Nomex or Kevlar.
The protective suit worn by drivers to protect them from any fire that may start within the race car.
The metal panel that separates the engine compartment from the passenger compartment. It also often includes sound and heat insulation.
First Party Coverage
The compensation for loss or damage from your insurance company rather than the person involved in the accident.
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."
Like wire-to-wire, it means a car that has gone from the No. 1 starting position to the No. 1 finisher in the race.
Person who uses flags to signal various conditions to the drivers and teams. At weekly-racing events, the flagman is often the person who has the final say over the starting and stopping of the race, and handing out penalties to drivers who commit infractions. (In professional series, a race director generally has that responsibility.) Generally, the flagman stands on a platform that is elevated over the outside edge of the track, at the start/finish line. Also called the Starter.
Used by the flagman to signal various conditions to the drivers and teams. At most tracks, a series of signal lights around the perimeter of the track duplicates the functions of some of the flags.
Flash Gordon
Winston Cup driver, Jeff Gordon.
Flash Shield
A device to encompass the air inlet of a carburetor's sides, top and rear. Protects driver in case of engine backfire.
Flat Cancellation
A cancellation of a policy free of any charge or fee.
Flat Out
At top speed; with the accelerator to the floor.
Flat Rate
A rate that is not subject to any additions or adjustments.
Flat Spot
What happens to tires when the driver locks the car's brakes; whatever portion of the tire was in contact with the track surface at that moment gets ground down to a flat surface. A flat spot from an extended lock down makes the tires go out of round and usually necessitates an immediate pit stop for new tires.
Refers to using 100% of the race car and not holding back on the ability of the car in a race (i.e. as in running flat-out).
A tire that has developed a flat area usually resulting from a skid. Flat spots lead to vibrations which may require a pit stop for new tires.
Flat-Spotted Tire
A tire that has developed a flat area usually resulting from a skid.
When a racecar reaches such a speed it actually leaves the surface of the racetrack.
A large, heavy iron or steel disc attached to the rear of an engine crankshaft in order to provide sufficient centrifugal force to smooth the power impulses from the cylinders.
A set of specifications that defines a class of racing cars; Formula One is the best known.
Formula 1
The most popular of all the forms of auto racing, Formula 1 tends to be dominated by European drivers. The parallels to Indy Car racing have lead to the defections of drivers like Nigel Mansell, who seek the greater spoils of victory here in the US.
Formula One
Open-wheel road racing with large international audience.
Fortuitous Event
An unforeseen accident.
Foul Start
A foul start is indicated by a red light on the Christmas Tree when a car has left the starting line before receiving the green light, or starting signal. Wedge: An engine with a combustion chamber resembling a wedge in shape. Need not have parallel intake and exhaust vallve stems.
Four on the Floor
(Slang) A four-speed manual transmission.
Four Wheel Drive (4wd)
A part time system that transfers engine power to all four wheels. 4WD systems usually lack a center differential that allows use in dry conditions. 4WD provides superior traction compared with front or rear-wheel drive.
Four Wheel Steering (4ws)
A mechanism that allows the rear wheels to steer. The steering angle is usually limited to 2-3 degrees. 4WS improves handling by allowing more stable cornering.
The type of carburetor used in NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division racing.
Four-Strok Cycle
An internal-combustion engine that requires two revolutions per cylinder or four piston strokes to achieve a power stroke: internal stroke, compression stroke, power stroke, exhaust stroke. More efficient than the two-stroke-cycle engine. Also called Otto cycle.
Four-Wheel Drive (4wd)
A transfer case distributes power to both axles in order to drive all four wheels.
Four-Wheel Steering
Vehicle on which all four wheels turn when the driver turns the steering wheel. The rear wheels turn at a smaller angle than the front wheels. This system appeared on a few sports models in the 1980s but was never very popular in North America.
The metal "skeleton" or structure of a race car, on which the sheet metal of the car's body is formed. Also referred to as a "chassis."
Fresh Rubber
A new set of tires acquired during a Pit Pass.
Front Clip
Beginning at the firewall, the frontmost section of a race car. Holds the engine and its associated electrical, lubricating, and cooling apparatus; and the braking, steering, and suspension mechanisms.
Front Row Joe
Winston Cup driver Joe Nemechek III
Front Steer
An arrangement of the steering gear where the tie rods connect to the wheel hub at a point forward of the kingpin. (Production cars are all rear steer.) Front steer requires a steering box that works in reverse of the usual mechanism (else the wheels would steer in the direction opposite the movement of the steering wheel), and also poses a problem with routing the steering column under or around the engine. Nonetheless. Cars now use front steer, because it allows the engine to be mounted lower, since the tie rods don't pass underneath the oil pan.
Front Wheel Drive (Fwd)
The front wheels receive engine power. FWD provides more traction than rear-wheel drive(RWD) in poor road conditions because more weight is over the drive wheels. FWD also allows better use of interior space than RWD because all drivetrain components are concentrated in the front of the car.
Front-Wheel Drive
Engine power is transmitted to the front wheels, which are the drive wheels. Also front-drive.
Full Throttle Racing Club
Usually any fuel except straight gasoline; commonly some mixture of methanol and nitromethane.
Fuel Cell
Gas tank for refueling race cars, holds 22 gallons of fuel. Consists of a metal "box" that contains a flexible tear-resistant bladder and foam baffling. A product of aerospace technology, it's designed to eliminate or minimize fuel spillage - and the possibility of fire.
Fuel Economy
Strictly a relative term in auto racing. CART cars are under fuel-conservation restrictions: they have to average at least 1.85 miles per gallon. Most Winston Cup cars get only 4.5 mpg in a race. And in drag racing, Top Fuel and Funny Cars use 10 to 12 gallons of fuel in a one-quarter-mile race.
Fuel Injection
A fuel-delivery system that replaces conventional carburetion. Fuel injection delivers fuel under pressure directly into the combustion chamber or indirectly through the airflow chamber. Weight transfer: Weight transfer is critical to traction. Vehicles are set up to provide a desired weight transfer to the rear wheels. Whe the vehicle accelerates, the front wheels left and the weight shiftsto the rear wheels, which makes them less likely to spin.
Fuel Injector
Taking the place of carburetors in the 1980s, the fuel injector is an electrically controlled valve that delivers a precise amount of pressurized fuel into each combustion chamber.
Fuel Pump
A mechanical or electrical pump that pressurizes the fuel system to move gas from the fuel tank to the engine.
Full Bore
Flat out.
Full Competition License
Awarded after satisfactory completion of 1 year of racing, 6 races minimum and corner staffing requirement.
Full Face
A helmet that covers the entire face and head. When used with a head sock, it provides full uninterrupted coverage of the driver's upper body against fire, and the enclosure of the mouth prevents the driver from inhaling the flame during a fire. It also provides protection to the forehead and eyes, and makes separate goggles unnecessary.
Full Floater
A type of rear axle where the axle housing extends all the way out to the wheels, and the wheels are held on bearings fastened to the ends of the housing tubes. (In an ordinary rear axle setup, the rear wheels are held on the car by the axle itself.) The advantage of the full floater is that if the axle breaks, the wheels stay on
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.
Full Tree
Used in Competition, Super Stock, Stock, and Bracket Racing, for which a handicap starting system is used to equalize the competition. The three amber bulbs on the Christmas Tree flas consecutively five-tenths of a second apart, followed by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a full tree is .500. Wheelie bar(s): Used to prevent excessive front-wheel lift.
A car that is usually four doors and seats anywhere from two to seven people.
Full-Time Ride or Seat
A full-time job for a driver. "He has a full-time ride (or seat) next year."
Funny Car
In this NHRA category, cars have short wheelbases and a fiberglass replica of a production car body. The engines are in front of the driver.
An electrical device that breaks the current in a circuit that is overloaded or shorted; it prevents damage to other components. However, the fuse itself may fail, and the most common repair when a fuse blows is to simply replace it without working on any other electrical component.
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