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The chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant, commonly referred to as Freon (a DuPont trademark) or CFC-12, now considered environmentally hazardous but once the key ingredient in automotive air-conditioning systems. A refrigerant is a chemical compound that absorbs, carries and releases heat in an air-conditioning system.
The environmentally safe refrigerant now used in air-conditioning systems. It requires a slightly bulkier condenser unit than R-12. Vehicles equipped with R-12 systems can be converted to use R-134a. Since Freon is now banned, expensive and hard to obtain, the conversion may be a good idea when an R-12-based system needs recharging, particularly if technicians detect a leak.
Road America, Elkhart Lake WI. 4 mile road racing course.
Race Rubber
Race tires as opposed to qualifying tires.
One of our favorite palindromes; backwards and forwards, it always spells "racecar."
Racer's Tape
Heavy duty duct tape used to temporarily repair hanging body parts which might hinder aerodynamic features and decrease performance. Most commonly used on stock cars (e.g. NASCAR Winston Cup) which use more paneling than Indy-style cars and are accustomed to more contact.
Racing Gas
Gasoline designed specifically for racing engines. Racing gas usually has very high octane.
Rack and Pinion Steering
The steering wheel is connected to a pinion gear that meshes with a toothed bar, also called a rack or linear gear. As the pinion turns, the rack moves side to side, moving the steering linkage and causing the front wheels to turn left or right. The ends of the rack are linked to the steering wheel with tie rods.
Rack-and-Pinion Steering
A steering system having a pinion gear at the lower end of the steering column that engages a rack or a toothed rod that connects to the wheel steering arms.
The RAC Motor Sports Association is recognized by the FIA as the governing body of motor sport in Great Britain.
Radial Ply
A tire in which the fabric cords run radially in a line from the wheel hub or straight out from the bead or around the tubular shape of the tire. Annular belts of fabric or steel mesh add rigidity. Advantages of this design are: more flexible side walls with a relatively stiff tread area and a larger and more consistent footprint on the road under all driving conditions.
The copper or aluminum device in front of the engine through which hot engine coolant is circulated and cooled. The liquid is then recirculated back through the engine block to cool it.
Rag Top
A convertible with a soft top.
Rain Tires
Softer compound with better tread for wet-weather conditions. In dry conditions, these softer tires wear faster than harder compound tires with less tread.
Rainbow Warriors
The crew of Winston Cup driver No. 24, Jeff Gordon, from the rainbow-striped car and uniforms.
Competing teams, consisting of a driver and a navigator, are given route instructions, which they must follow exactly. Each team follows the course independently, trying to rack up points based on how well they meet a pre-determined schedule.
Ratchet Rear End
A rear end gear that locks under acceleration, and unlocks when the driver lets off the throttle. Commonly used in oval-track racing, where it provides the straight-line acceleration of a locked rear end, without the cornering difficulties.
The per unit cost of insurance.
Reaction Time
In drag racing, the time it takes a driver to react to the green starting light on the Christmas Tree, measured in thousandths of a second. The reaction-time counter begins when the last amber light flashes on the tree and stops when the vehicle clears the staged beam.
Rear Clip
The section of a race car that begins at the base of the rear windshield and extends to the rear bumper. Contains the car's fuel cell and rear-suspension components.
Rear End
Racer's term for the differential, the set of gears that transfers power from the driveshaft to the rear wheels.
Rear Wheel Drive
The rear wheels receive all the engine power. RWD is preferred over front-wheel drive (FWD) for its superior handling and acceleration capabilities. RWD provides less traction than FWD in poor road conditions because less weight is available over the drive wheels.
A car in which the steering components are located behind the front axle.
Rear-Wheel Drive (Rwd)
The drivetrain in which power is applied through the rear wheels only.
An illegal action wherein the agent gives the insured a portion of his or her commission to entice the purchase of insurance.
A manufacturer calls in vehicles to repair defects, usually safety-related. Recalls may be voluntary, requested by the government, or mandated by NHTSA.
Motion of an object between two limiting positions. Applied to piston engines because of the limited up and down motion of the pistons.
Recirculating Ball
A steering mechanism in which the steering shaft turns a worm gear causing a toothed metal block to move back and forth, turning the front wheels. Ball bearings reduce friction between the worm gear and the metal block.
Reconditioning Reserve
Another name for the security deposit when leasing a vehicle.
Red and Yellow Flag
Flag used in road racing to signal there is oil on the course.
Red Flag
A solid red flag is used to stop the race immediately. Generally races are stopped for bad accidents or weather. Occasionally, a multiple car accident will stop a race. Wreckers and fire marshals clear the track of cars, debris and fluids. Alternatively, rain makes the surface of the race track dangerous. Once NASCAR officials authorize the race to start again, a green flag resumes the race.
Unfairly discriminating against a risk because of its location.
Usually, the maximum RPM that an engine can be safely operated at; indicated by a red pointer or painted line on the tachometer.
Refundable Security Deposit
Money to be held until lease-end as a security method for all lease obligations.
Required sign-in point before you enter the track property. Also, registration staff.
Payment of the amount according to the loss or damage of property.
Release Fork
Disengages the clutch disc from the flywheel by pressing on the pressure plate release springs.
Relief Driver
A driver who, during a race, takes over a car for another driver who is physically unable to continue.
The continuation of coverage that is about to expire.
Rent Charges
The amount charged in addition to the depreciation and any amortized costs.
Residual Value
The estimated value of the vehicle at the end of the lease. Often expressed as a percentage in decimal form. It is based on a vehicle's MSRP. For example, the residual value of a vehicle may be 0.65, or 65% of its MSRP at the end of the lease term. In this example, a car with an MSRP of $20,000 is estimated to be worth $13,000 at the end of the lease term. Residual value may be a negotiable figure. This should be clearly stated in the lease. It is one of the elements used in determining the monthly lease payment and also in deciding whether to buy the vehicle at term end. Also called the walk-away value or guaranteed value.
The term for the resumption of a race after a caution or red flag period.
Restrictor Plate
A device, used by NASCAR and universally hated by nearly everyone else, used to control power in engines in the WC series, at tracks where the cars would otherwise be too fast for safety or insurance reasons. The plate is a machined slab of aluminum, about 1/20" thick, with four holes of a specific size. The plate goes in between the carb and intake manifold, and restricts the volume of fuel-air mix that may pass through.
Restrictor Plates
In NASCAR, plates that act to slow the car down by restricting air and fuel flow to the carburetor at stock car racing's fastest tracks. This decreases the acceleration and top speed.
The amount of liability that is assumed but not reinsured by the agency.
As used in racing, to drop out of a race due to mechanical difficulties or irrepairable damage.
A vertical flap attached to a Indy car wing for increased downforce. Please see Gurney Flap.
To gun an engine. As a noun, "revs" is short for "revolutions per minute."
Rev Limiter
Electronic/computer device in the engine controls which causes a controlled engine misfire if engine revolutions per minute (rpms) exceed the limit set by Indy Racing League rules. The legal rpm (or "rev") limit for 2000 is 10,700 rpms. The rev limiter is used primarily to control speeds, thereby increasing safety and controlling costs.
Rev Range
Jargon for the range of speeds (expressed as revolutions per minute [RPM's]) in which an engine is designed to operate. The lowest point in the rev range is the idle speed; the highest point is the redline.
Revolutions Per Minute (Rpm)
Describes at which speed the engine crankshaft is turning.
Ride Height
The distance between the car's frame rails and the ground. On NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division cars, the minimum ride height requirements are five inches on the left side and six inches on the right side.
Riding the Rails
Taking the outside line around a turn.
The outer edge of a bare wheel.
Ring Gear
One of the gears in the rear axle that transmits power to the differential from the drive shaft.
Any chance of loss or damage.
Road Course
A race track with multiple left and right hand turns. Generally refers to permanent, purpose-built racing facilities. Can also refer to temporary street courses built on big city streets which were popularized in the 1980's.
A description of a two-seater open car of sporty appearance with side curtains, instead of roll-up windows.
Rocker Arm
A pivoted lever that transmits the action of the pushrod to the valve stem. (Pushrod upward action is converted to downward push on the valve stem. )
Rocker Panel
The body panel that runs beneath a vehicle's doors.
Roll Bar
Large, sturdy bars designed to protect a driver's head if the car rolls over. Very functional in race cars but used more for style in production cars. Most production and race cars use anti-roll (or sway) bars as part of the suspension to prevent the excessive rolling in corners.
Roll Cage
A network of metal bars which forms an enclosure around the driver, protecting him/her against impacts from any direction (even if the car rolls or flips). In modern tube-frame racing cars, the roll cage is an integral part of the frame, and contributes to the chassis' rigidity in addition to protecting the driver.
A flatbed truck equipped with a winch, used to retrieve cars that have been so badly wrecked that they can't be towed.
A protective steel cage to prevent driver injury during a rollover.
Rolling Start
The race begins after the pace car leaves the track while the cars are moving. Formula One opts for a standing start where the cars start from a standstill.
The type of vehicle impact in which the car or truck rolls over on its side, onto its roof, or turns over completely. The biggest cause of injury in a rollover is ejection of the occupant or any part of the occupant. Rollover is a greater risk in any sport-utility vehicle - because of its high center of gravity - than in a minivan, pickup truck or passenger car. Rollover can occur immediately upon impact or in the seconds after an impact, which makes it more difficult to protect occupants with traditional airbags. Inflatable tubular restraints and similar designs that stay inflated longer than traditional airbags will be more effective in rollover situations.
Roof Flap(s)
How they work - When the car is running on all four wheels and in a relatively straight line, the air pressure inside the car is constant. When it turns sideways, the pressure variant increases dramatically and the vehicle starts to obey the laws of physics. The flaps are designed to spring open when the pressure reaches a certain point, thereby venting the pressure and keeping the cars on the ground. NASCAR made the flaps mandatory and each car is required to carry a set of them at all times. When the pressure is vented, it also serves as sort of an invisible parachute, slowing the car enough so that any impact with the wall is lessened dramatically. As the flaps deploy, the car settles down on its wheels, once again subject to gravity. Developed by Jack Roush.
Roof Flaps
A set of trap doors in the roof of a Winston Cup or BGN car (ARCA also requires them at some tracks). The roofs of these cars, since they are usually shaped somewhat in profile like an airplane wing, tend to generate lift when the car gets sideways, and on a superspeedway, this lift can be strong enough to actually fly the car off the track surface. The roof flaps are designed to open under these circumstances and kill the lift, both by venting air pressure inside the cockpit, and by breaking up the airflow over the top of the roof
Rookie Stripes
The black-and-white stripes on the back of a new driver's car, much like a Student Driver sign, so that approaching drivers are fairly warned.
Rooster Tail
The spray trailing cars in wet conditions similar to the effect boats create across water.
Rotating Mass
Somewhat misleading term for the combined angular momentum/inertia of all of a car's rotating propulsion parts such as the crankshaft, flywheel, and driveshaft.
Slang term for a way of making chassis adjustments utilizing the race car's springs. A wrench is inserted in a jack bolt attached to the springs, and is used to tighten or loosen the amount of play in the spring. This in turn can loosen or tighten up the handling of a race car.
Round of Wedge
Also see "Wedge". Changing the wedge by adding or removing a "Round of Wedge" can correct a "Loose" or "Tight" condition and improve the racecars handling on the racetrack. This is accomplished during a pit stop by placing a wrench thru the rear window and turning a bolt, attached to the top of the rear springs, in or out. One of many factors determining how a car will handle on a race track.
Roundy Round
A slang term in NASCAR used to describe an oval track.
Short for revolutions per minute, a measurement of the speed of the engine's crankshaft. Roll Cage - The steel tubing inside the race car's interior. Designed to protect the driver from impacts or rollovers, the roll cage must meet strict NASCAR safety guidelines and are inspected regularly.
Rpm Revolutions Per Minute
RPM indicates how many times the engine crankshaft rotates per minute.
Reaction Time.
Light contact with another car. Very common in most forms of racing. Also refered to as "Swapping Paint".
See Swapping Paint
Rubber Buggers
Commonly referred to as marbles: the bits and pieces of spent rubber from tires.
Racing announcers use this describe cars that make contact but don't crash. Also called "pushing and shoving."
Rule of 78
Under a Rule of 78 loan, the interest over the entire life of the loan is divided into 78 equal pieces. The first monthly payment consists of 12 of these pieces, the next of 11 pieces and the rest principal, the third of 10 interest pieces and the rest principal, and so on to the 12th payment, which includes only 1/78 of the interest. Under this type of loan, all the interest due is paid during the first year, and all future payments go toward reducing the principal. A Rule of 78 loan insures that the financier will earn its profit immediately but leaves the borrower with less equity in the early years of the loan. Many dealers advertise that their loans are NOT of this type.
An open sporting-type vehicle, lightweight, with two seats and with simple bodywork.
Running Anywhere
A car is handling so well, a driver can use any racing line (or drive anywhere.) Sometimes, handling problems lead to a preferred line where the car handles better.
Running Board
A long flat board under the car doors that acts as a footstep for the passengers.
Running Light
A car is running with little fuel. Teams qualify with a light load to achieve maximum speed.
Running Yellow
This indicates that something may be wrong on the track, but the cars are allowed to stay, running at a reduced speed. A quick check by the officials usually resolves the issue and the green light comes back on.
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