Excuses, excuses…. Ow!

This website is full of data that supports why cars (Miatas) should have aero. Nevertheless, I meet people all the time that say they don’t want to use aero. Fine, don’t. But don’t justify that with bullshit excuses or claims you can’t back up with data. That just gets you a dick punch for being a moron.

What are the most common excuses I hear for not using aero?

Alyssa’s car has evolving aero, built to a budget.

“My car doesn’t make enough power to use aero”

This is the dumbest one. I wrote about this previously, and it’s just plain wrong. Miatas have terrible aero, and the normal aero things one does to a Miata reduce drag (freeing up power) and add downforce (increasing grip). There’s simply no downside to using aero on a Miata.

  • Drag reduction – Airdam, splitter, flat bottom, low spoiler: all of these reduce drag. Explain to me how the fuck it takes more power to use aero?
  • Wing drag – A single-element wing has about as much drag as your side mirrors. Move the mirrors inboard and shut up. Or just ignore the mirror drag and stand agape as you gain 2-3 seconds per lap.

“I’m not a good enough driver to use aero”

This is my second favorite saying. As if the self-admitted “not-good enough driver” has aerodynamic knowledge, but not driving skill? The fact is, adding grip and stability is not going to make you a worse driver, it’s going to make you a safer and better driver.

  • Understeer is safe – A wing will generate more and more downforce at speed, shifting the balance of the car to the rear, causing the car to understeer the faster you go. This is especially good for people who claim they aren’t good drivers.
  • Easy to tune – Not everyone is schooled in setting up suspension. Conversely, changing the angle of your wing is child’s play.
  • Braking – If you look at data, you’ll see that aero helps braking more than it does for cornering. Drivers who identify as “not good” will benefit greatly from better braking.
  • Stability is good – A stable car is easier to drive at high speed. Cars without aero suffer from aerodynamic lift, which makes the car unstable at high speed. Downforce makes a car easier to drive, and better for noobs. Lack of aero, and instability, require a better driver. Not the other way around.

Obviously a pro driver will get more out of a car that has a lot of downforce, but a rookie driver will also benefit greatly from aero. Saying that there’s some skill level requirement to a car that has less drag and lift is fucking asinine.

“I don’t like the way aero looks”

If you’re choosing your performance based on looks then you’re not serious about performance and shouldn’t be reading my website. For a street car, you have a leg to stand on, but for a race car, notsomuch.

My brother is one of these “I don’t like the way aero looks” people. It’s infuriating because he races a Yaris. Somehow he thinks a splitter and wing are going to ruin its wonderful lines?!? Dude, this is not a Giugiaro masterpiece! Aero all the things, brother.

I finally got Ian to throw a $50 wing on the Yaris and he was able to flat-foot Thunderhill Turn 1 for the first time ever. So at least he’s been partially converted. I’d like to see it with a splitter, flat bottom, barge boards, and diffuser, but I’ll take this small victory for now.

“Aero costs too much”

OK, I don’t really hear people say this one so much as see it. People will dump money into every aspect of performance except aero. They’ll run RE71Rs and change them every 7 hours, Or they’ll do an engine swap or turbo. All the grip and power things cost money, and then keep costing money. On the other hand, once you do aero, you’re done. Aero is way cheaper for the same performance.

  • Tires – Teams that run RE71Rs and the like for endurance racing are spending 3x more on tires. Sure, they are getting a second or two a lap, but also paying for tires (and mounting) 3-4 times more often.
  • Power – Everyone wants more power, but for Miatas without fuel cells, you’re limited by the fuel you can carry. Some motor swaps, like Ecotecs, are pretty frugal on fuel, but more power means more gas. Gas costs money, pit stops cost time, do the math.
  • Aero – Do it once, forget about it. I’ve done a lot of OptimumLap simulations on different tracks, and while some tracks favor one or the other, grip, power, and aero often balance each other out. Over time, aero is simply the cheapest way to get the same lap times.

What’s your excuse for not using aero?

If your racing series doesn’t allow aero, obviously you can’t. But if you’re not using aero for some other reason, tell me why. But be careful… and cover your junk.

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