Camber angle, is basically how much your wheels ‘lean’ in or out when viewed from the front (or rear) of your car. Camber when set correctly allows us to put more of the tyre’s surface in contact with the track during cornering. The more of the tyre that is in touch with the track, the higher that speeds can be when cornering. It really is that simple! In a sharp left- hand turn, the chassis and body rolls to the right due to the lateral acceleration created during cornering, and as the wheels are connected to the chassis via the suspension they will lean to the right too. If left with a neutral camber setting, the top of the right wheels will lean out during cornering and run just on the outside edge of the tyre, with just a fraction of the thread in contact with the track. To counteract this we put negative camber on our wheels.
As the body rolls during cornering the wheel leans out too but as it had negative camber to start with the wheel will sit near vertical allowing maximum surface contact of the tyres to the track. This in turn generates more grip in the corners and allows us to corner more quickly. It also reduces rolling resistance and allows higher straight-line speeds to be reached. Lengthening or shortening the length of the camber link arm adjusts camber. This varies by car but is usually done by altering turnbuckles or linkages until the correct angle is achieved.
Other factors will affect the level of grip your car has, with tyre choice, insert stiffness, and the track’s surface itself all coming into play as part of the equation. Remember always make a note of any changes you make to your car’s geometry, and if they have a negative affect on your car’s handling, simply go back a step up the original setting. Another great guide to your particular car’s set-up are the sheets submitted by team and factory drivers and usually posted for free on the manufacturer’s website. These set-up sheets give vital information on running the car on a variety of tracks and surfaces, and more importantly are free.
Terry Crew – Reality Racing