Oct

19

Years ago we used the weather as a anecdotal guide to describe the markets and attempt to predict. I went on about air temps, humidity (water grains) pressures to make engine power. Radiant heat for the intraday markets, like sun on the race track or track temps for traction. The gist was how to make more power and when and how to use it. Yet, in heavy weather in racing or trading most have more power than the track can hold.

The get the joke was and still is that small investors have a bit of an edge over the big fish in sloppy or heavy weather days. The gist is simple, we can move quickly and the big boys can't. When its beautiful, those with the most power have the edge. A very strong, steady up market those with the most money, can deploy their huge reserves and win the race. The smaller traders must use leverage, a tonne of leverage to make a living wage in a small range but strong and steady market. The big fish know this and we see little duststorms in the markets. It may cause the over leveraged spec or racers to make a pit stop at best or crash and burn.

I can see and tell the difference in most forms of racing or trading Not that any of us can't tell who has the edge in the trading world. They make money every single day and rarely if ever have a huge trading loss. The form for specs is either we make small money almost every day and have too many huge losses…or brag about never had a huge loss, but seemingly do not make much on balance as they take little risk.

When the rules boards set the parameters for the next season, we all scramble to adjust. For trading it can be a simple margin shift. For racing that is a change in engine specs to reduce power for safety and or to keep the costs of racing down. Perhaps in trading these shifts in margin rules cause as many bad accidents as they cause in racing.

If they lower the power of the race car, we will find another way to go fast and win. We will use aerodynamics and ofcourse, they always change the rules the 2nd race in the season. My gauche, they are going just as fast as last year with less power. How that is done is suspension tech and taking downforce out of the cars. All cars have wings, whether you can see them bolted on or not. A trunk lid can be a wing and normally you will see a spoiler bolted on the car to cause the pressure over the lid to push the car down for traction. The size and shape of the roof changes how the air moves over the rear of the car.. On an Indy car it is obvious. They have wings.

If the rules boards lower the engine power, rule on how much downforce you must have in the car and or how much wind you must push (aero drag) this forces the race car drivers to run in the draft. What isn't obvious is how fast 1-2-3 or 10 cars can run in a draft until you get them on the track. What looks good on paper or in the wind tunnel test, can be a disaster waiting to happen in a real live race.

The most dangerous situation is when only a two car draft is the fastest. A single car is some 2-3 seconds slower than a two car draft, yet three cars is slower than the two.. This causes the 2nd driver to tuck under the lead car. He cant see. The 2nd cars driver's job is run on the tail of the lead car all day long. He fights all day not to lose his drafting partner. If he does lose the draft, he is solo and can't run with 2 other cars to make three as that is slower and breaks up the 2 car draft. He is a dead duck as a solo race car and so is his old partner. It will take them 2 laps to recover top speed. That is only if they all have the same power and must run full throttle all the way around the race track. Let's call it 600HP. Where 800HP they would have to let off the gas before the corners or lose traction.

Now what is seemingly dangerous is a single car that can run 235MPH lap speeds solo.. Oh my gauche they will be going too fast in the draft, maybe 255! So, they get them to run 215 solo.. but then they run 225 in a pair and 229 is the best pair.. Now the best pair is going some 14 MPH faster than a solo car.. Throw in a dust storm, the driver in 2nd, tucked into the draft, has no idea the lead car is about to get off the gas and he spins him out and they both crash.

That is not the real problem, they are all pros, the best in the world.. The real problem is no matter how hard a driver tries and no matter how worn out the other cars tires or brakes are at the end of the races..its almost impossible to pull out of the draft and slingshot past for the lead with an underpowered race car…well….almost..

When you pass a truck on the HWY you can feel the turbulence… But there is a spot right before you pass the truck where a side draft feels like its going to suck you over into the semi.. At 200+MPH that same side draft is used to shoot past a car. That side draft in open wheel racing which unlike stock cars if they touch, two open wheels make contact, one race car can be shot up into the air.. When all have the same power the same set up its like trend following.. one little hickup causes a jam and the chain reactions, cascades, cause a big pileup and at times, loss of life.

Now if all cars had 750 or 800 HP and could go 235 on good tires but had to slow down when on old worn out tires by letting off the gas and perhaps tapping the brakes at some point during that race, the engines power would be a huge help in completing passing in racing. The regulations to keep the power down for safety, actually cause crashes! Its not unlike dry powder in trading during a duststorm on the prairie… or those years where we are all pinned full throttle long… a little zig and zag is required..others are hitting the brakes and have no horsepower to recover their momentum. Those with the reserves can stand on the gas and have the power to overcome the pack.


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