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Prototype - Fastest class in sports car racing.
Basically, the procedure for checking the cubic-inch displacement of an engine. The term comes from the manufacturer of the particular gauge used.
Pace Car
Seen at NASCAR and Indy races, the pace car leads race cars out of the pole position at beginning of races or after a yellow flag or restart has been called.
Pace Lap
The lap before the official start, on which cars travel in formation, usually behind a pace car, building up speed so they'll be near top speed when they reach the starting line.
A driver who travels at pretty much the same speed throughout the race, conserving his car in the hope that those traveling faster will be forced to drop out with mechanical problems.
Package Shelf
The ledge between the rear seat and the backlight (or rear windshield). The name is misleading because it's a bad idea to put anything on the package shelf. However, it often contains the sound system's rear speakers and, on some vehicles, the CHMSL or center brake light. Sometimes also called the package tray. On European cars the package tray often contains a first-aid kit; on higher-end models it may contain storage compartments.
Area of the race track where cars are kept during an event; work area for car preparation while at the race track.
Paddock Area
The enclosed portion (or infield) of a race track.
Panhard Bar
In a Stock car rear suspension, a lateral bar that prevents the axle from moving left or right. It is generally attached to the end of the axle housing on the left, and to a frame bracket on the right.(Also referred to as a track bar)
Papers of Origin
Manufacturer documents used to obtain vehicle titles.
Parade Lap
A lap taken by cars at slow speed, before the pace lap, to give spectators a good view of them.
Parade Lap(s)
The warm-up lap before a race. Drivers use this lap to warm up their engines and often zig-zag to warm up tires.
Parking Lot
After a big crash which takes out a lot of cars, the track looks like a parking lot.
Partial Loss
Any loss that does not completely destroy the property or exhaust the insurance.
Parts Car
A car used for its working parts which can be used in other cars.
Passive Restraint
A device or structure that automatically helps restrain vehicle occupants in an impact. This includes airbags, belt pretensioners, padded knee bolsters, and shoulder belts that are motorized, or attached to the door.
A cause of a possible loss.
Personal Injury Protection (Pip)
A broad type of medical payments insurance. Usually offers protection for expenses incurred up to a dollar amount.
The conventional body has 4 doors with convertible top and side curtains rather than roll-up windows. The four- seater was called a double phaeton, and the six- or seven- seater a triple phaeton.
Physical Circuit
Usually refers to road courses which require a lot of turning and hence, great physical strength.
Physical Damage
A generic term that describes injury or damage to property.
Physical Hazard
The material of the risk itself.
Pick Up
Debris built up on tires from rubber bits and small stones.
The type of truck with an open cargo bed behind the closed cab.
Pilot Chute
A spring-loaded device which pulls the braking chute from its pack.
When a racecar on the outside cuts-off a car on the inside while going down into the turn, causing the car on the inside to slow down, to avoid an accident, and fall in behind.
A small diameter gear with a small number of teeth designed to mesh with a much larger gear wheel or a toothed rod (rack). Used in rack-and-pinion steering and for speed reduction with an increase in power.
A partly hollow, cylindrical metal engine part that is closed at one end and fits into the engine cylinder. Connected to the crankshaft via the connecting rod and usually fitted with rings to seal it in the cylinder.
Area of a race track, off the racing surface, where a car stops for servicing. A temporary garage where the crew can refuel, change tires and make other minor repairs or adjustments to the race car. Each team is alloted one pit per car along pit row.
Pit Board
A board used by crews inform drivers of lap times, lap until pit and other various information. The board is used along with team radios to keep in constant communication.
Pit Box
A rectangle painted on the pit lane that shows exactly the area where servicing is permitted for each team
Pit Crew
The backbone of any successful race team. The Crew services and repairs a team's car during the race day. Only six crewmembers are allowed over the wall at any given time during a pit stop.
Pit Lane
A road that takes cars from the course into the pits and back out again. Also "pit road."
Pit Lizard
Nickname for a racing groupie.
Pit Road
A section of every race track where all the pit stops take place. Each team chooses a pit position in the order of their qualifying rank. Many sanctioning bodies set a predetermined speed limit on each tracks' pit road and any driver caught breaking this speed limit will be assessed a stop and go penalty.
Pit Row
The area designated for teams to set up temporary garages during races accessible to ("pit out") and from ("pit in") the track. Each team is allotted one pit area (or space) per car. Drivers pit so crews can refuel, change tires and make any other repairs or adjustments. Simply called the pits most often.
Pit Stall
The area along pit road that is designated for a particular team's use during pit stops. Each car stops in the team's stall before being serviced.
Pit Stop
When a driver stops his car for service, i.e. tire change, re-fuel, repairs, etc crew members jump over the wall to address his car's needs as speedily as possible. A typical pit stop today in NASCAR takes an average of 17 seconds.
An area adjacent to the track surface (often in the infield ) where cars are serviced:
Pits, Pit Lane
Area adjacent to track where cars stop during races or practice for repairs, fueling, etc.
Plate Engine
An engine designed to be run with a restrictor plate.
Plug Check
During a practice or a qualifying session, if a driver shuts off the engine while at full power and then coasts into the pits , it is generally so that the crew can perform a plug check. The spark plugs are removed and the electrodes and insulator examined; the condition of these components (and particularly the color of the insulator) can reveal much about how the engine is performing. Running the engine at idle leaves deposits on the plugs that interfere with the plug check, and that is why the driver must shut off the engine while at full power, press in the clutch, and then coast in to the pits in order for a plug check to be done.
Pneumatic Tire
A circular tube of rubber or synthetic rubber and fabric, and sometimes also steel, attached to the rim of the car's wheel, having resilience due to its containing air under pressure.
Point Paying
In some series (e.g. CART and Formula One), you must finish a certain place or higher to receive points towards the championship. Conversely, NASCAR awards points to any driver who starts a race.
A points system rewards drivers with points based on where they finish in a race, and may contain opportunities for earning bonus points by doing things like winning the pole position or leading a lap. At the end of the season, there is often a large cash award for the points champion, and perhaps other privileges such as first choice of pit position all next season. The main objects of a points system are to discourage teams from skipping races, and to build up sustained fan interest over the course of a season. Many series have additional points systems for rewarding car owners, chassis/engine suppliers, etc..
Points Race
The overall competition to win the Drivers' or Manufacturers' Championship at the end of the season.
The best position in which to start a race, in the front row on the inside position. Originated in horse racing, where a brass fanfare calls horses to the post, which is like a pole, except shorter. Often there is an actual pole at the start/finish line giving the lineup.
Pole Position
The driver qualifying fastest is awarded the first starting position. This means the driver will start on the inside (relative to the first turn) of the first row.
Pole Sitter
The top qualifier for a race. Note that, due to qualifying procedures, this is not necesarily the fastest-qualified car.
Pole, (Pole Position, Pole Sitter)
The most desirable place to start a race. The pole is on the inside of the track at the start/finish line. Since NASCAR races begin with a rolling start after the pace lap this position is on the inside line as the cars approach the green flag at the beginning of a race. Pole sitters have been determined by pole qualifying race (1959-65); by two-lap average (1966-68); by fastest single lap since 1969.
Policy Period
The amount of time that the policy covers (i.e., six months or two years).
The person who has possession of the policy.
Any exotic fuel blend.
Pop-Off Valve
In Indy-style racing, this valve is connected to the plenum exiting the turbocharger. Many racing groups supplies these valves in order to restrict the pressure generated by the turbocharger.
The opening in an engine where the valve operates and through which the air-fuel mixture or exhaust passes.
Positive Crankcase Ventilation Valve
An emission device that routes oil pan vapors to the intake manifold to be burned during combustion. Also known as the PCV valve.
Positive Equity
The vehicle's market value is greater than the amount the borrower owes on it.
Post-Entry (Pe)
A team or driver who submits an entry blank for a race after the deadline for submission has passed. A post-entry receives no NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver or team points.
Power Plant
Another name for a vehicle's engine.
Power Steering
A steering system that uses a separate motor or engine power to reduce the effort necessary to turn the front wheels.
Power-to-Weight Ratio
The maximum power output of the vehicle per unit mass. The higher the ratio, the more powerful the vehicle. In comparing several vehicles, this can be a better measurement than engine horsepower or torque because it considers the weight variable. In other words, a car that seems to have a powerful engine but is also heavy may have less get-up-and-go than a vehicle that has a similar or less powerful engine but also weighs less.
The combination of engine and transmission.
Actually, PPG Industries, founded in 1883 as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. PPG has been the source of tough urethane finishes on cars racing in the Indianapolis 500 since 1975. In 1980, it became the title sponsor of the PPG Indy Car World Series.
Pre-Selector Gear Box
An arrangement that enables the driver to select a gear speed before he needs it and then depress the clutch pedal when he desires to use the selected gear.
In drag racing, when a driver is approximately seven inches behind the starting line and the small yellow light atop his or her side of the Christmas Tree is illuminated.
The periodic payment to keep the policy enforced.
Preparation Charges
Charges incurred by the dealer while preparing a vehicle for delivery to the buyer.
Pressure Plate
Holds the clutch disc against the flywheel.
A device that rapidly yanks in shoulder-belt slack when a crash sensor detects an impact. Some pretensioners are activated by a small explosive charge in the belt retractor; some contain their own inertial sensors. So far, pretensioners are still found on more expensive models, particularly those by European manufacturers. By pulling in belt slack within milliseconds of an impact, pretensioners help reduce chest and head injury by restricting occupant motion and preventing the occupant from hitting the belt.
Primary Sponsor
The sponsor that puts up the bulk of the sponsorship money for a race team, and consequently gets the most exposure on the ca
Professional Racers Organization
Pro Rallies
Road rallies which are very competitive and are run at high speeds on roads closed to the public. Often sponsored by the SCCA.
Pro Start
A method of starting a drag race that differs from most starts in that it only has one amber light between the initial staging and the final lights on the "Christmas Tree."
Pro Stock
A category of the NHRA, in which coupes or sedans that are stock - straight from the manufacturer - are fitted with carbureted engines of up to 500 cubic inches. Counting the driver, they must weigh at least 2,350 pounds. Their times are about 2 seconds slower than the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories.
Pro Tree
Used in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Bike, Alcohol Dragster, Alcohol Funny Car, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street, which feature heads-up competition. All three large amber lights on the Christmas Tree flash simultaneously, followed four-tenths of a second later by the green starting light. A perfect reaction time on a Pro Tree is .400. (Drag racing)
A production engine or car is one that is made in quantity, usually on an assembly line.
Professional Sports Car Racing
The racing group formerly known as IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) sanctions sports car races. Its parent company is International Motor Sports Group.
Projector-Beam Headlights
A headlight that uses a spherical reflector to tightly control the light beam. The bulb or light source directs the light inward, toward the reflector at the back of the headlight assembly, which then projects it forward from the vehicle. These lights are more powerful, accurate and expensive than standard sealed-beam and halogen headlights, and are generally found on sport and luxury models.
Someone who organizes a race, puts up the the purse (see), gets race sponsors, handles advertising and ticket sales, and assumes the financial risk of putting on the race. The promoter might be a track owner orthe owner of rights to a series.
Promoter's Option
The traditional prerogative of the promoter, as the person who organizes a race, of designating one or more cars to start a race even though they failed to qualify. (Similar to what is called a "sponsor's exemption" in golf.) Promoters often reserved an option for themselves, so that they could be guaranteed that a popular driver would participate in the race (particularly when that driver had been paid appearance money).
Proof of Loss
A formal statement made by the insured to the insurance company regarding a loss.
Property Damage Liability
The protection of the property when not under control of the insured.
A sports car that is not in production; either an experimental model or a car made in very limited quantities, solely for racing.
There are seven provisional positions in a starting field of 43 for every race. Six spots are awarded by the use of provisionals based on OWNERS points. The seventh is awarded to a past champion who has not otherwise qualified for the race. For more on provisionals Click Here.
Provisional Qualifying
NASCAR only. A driver who hasn't driven fast enough to qualify for the race but is entitled to a spot at the back of the lineup because of certain provisions; i.e., former Winston Cup champion.
Provisional Starter
A system used by a promoter or sanctioning body to improve the odds that race teams that participate in a series on a regular basis will be able to earn a starting position.
Provisional Starting Spot
Special performance-based exemptions for drivers who do not initially qualify for a race. A driver awarded a provisional spot must start at the back of the starting grid.
Pferdestarke is a measurement of metric horsepower. 1.0 hp=1.0139 PS 1.0 PS=0.7355 Kw
Acronym for pounds per square inch. A pressure measurement used in tire inflation and turbocharger boost.
Pump Gas
Steet-legal gasoline that can be purchased by the public. Used to distinguish from racing gasoline; at many weekly racing tracks, the lower divisions are required to use pump gas (which has a relatively low octane rating compared to racing gas) as a way of limiting engine power and thus containing costs.
To bump someone from behind, usually causing a spin. Tactic perfected by many popular NASCAR drivers.
Purchase Option
The lessee's right to purchase the vehicle, if he so chooses, at lease end. It's a good idea to negotiate a purchase-option price at the same time you negotiate the capitalized cost and residual value, if possible. Some contracts lock-in a pre-determined value for the vehicle.
The total prize money to be awarded to the race participants by the promoter.
This is caused by the front tires loosing traction and creates a condition where it feels as if something is pushing the racecar and the driver can't turn the racecar enough to keep from going into the wall. This can be caused by not having enough downforce on the front of the racecar. Also known as "Understeer" or "Tight".
Push Rod
A metal rod that transmits the motion of the camshaft to the valve actuators. Pushrods are used by non-overhead cam engines to open and close valves.
The car does not want to turn in the corners due to a lack of tire grip. This can be caused by a lack of downforce on the front of the car, or too much downforce on the rear of the car. Also known as "understeer" and "tight."
Pushing and Shoving
Race cars making contact.
A metal rod that transmits the motion of the camshaft to the valve actuators to open and close the valves. Used on engines with overhead valves but without overhead camshafts.
In general, a heat-measuring device. The most common racing use is the tire pyrometer, which is used to measure surface temperatures of different areas on a tire.
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