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Home   Patent: GB2314306 - Equipoise Suspension



Racecars look pretty inelegant bouncing over kerbs, the unloaded wheel pawing the air. There has to be a way of riding bumps while making better use of both tyres?

A downhill skier aims to keep both feet firmly planted on the deck, while spreading his weight across both skis - even over bumps.

How to achieve similar results on a racecar?

After many doodles, we came up with an across the chassis monoshock, linking the ends of two pushrod-actuated rockers. This "ride unit" shares the weight of the car and aerodynamic loads across both wheels, but offers zero roll-stiffness.

The diagonal unit, linking opposite ends of the rockers, is used as a damped anti-roll bar. In cornering, this "roll unit" is stretched or compressed, depending on which way the car is leaning.  Squat, dive and aerodynamic loads have no effect.

At rest, the roll unit is positioned halfway through its travel; its seats brought up to the free-length of the coil-over spring (the anti-roll bar).  Roll stiffness is provided by clamping the spring to top and bottom seats.

Both coil-over units (the springs are absent from the diagram) are fully-floating; their only connection to the chassis, a remote one, via the rocker pivots.

The car uses its tyres consistently and evenly throughout each session.  Its phenomenal grip and natural load-sharing makes it difficult to lock individual wheels under braking.

We built the racecar to provide a vehicle to demonstrate the suspension patent. With only slight revisions to spring-rates the car has been handling brilliantly from day 1.  Rather fortunate, that - 2000 being a character building season while we ironed out all the new car issues which, to established manufacturers, are but distant memories.

2001 has started rather more successfully.  Mechanical reliability in our shakedown test enabled us to qualify 2nd and race to 3rd against Vauxhall-powered opposition. The Mallory season debut also provided a demonstration of the chassis' handling superiority over the ubiquitous Radical - the Paradigm overtaking it round the outside of Gerrards, on 3 separate occasions, before gaining sufficient lead to make the move stick.

Watch this space for more news as we slowly drag the site up-to-date.

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