The reason AWD isn't seen on many track events is not because RWD has some advantage; rather, it is due to the inherent superiority of AWD. For example, AWD is *specifically* banned from F1 - check the rulebook. Even in the USA Audi had sanctioning problems with their AWD cars over a decade ago - they won too much. In Le Mans, Porsche's first AWD entry won its class (961, a 959 derivative).Originally posted by KJ0813
I still go back to the fact that for just about all pro non-rally track racing (F1, LeMans, etc..) the cars are RWD. Acceleration physics are on the side of RWD; it's better for powersliding and drifting. I need no magazine to tell me otherwise, my own track experiences tell me that.
I don't see how acceleration physics are on the RWD side; AWD vehicles accelerate better out of corners, particularly tight ones, and esses or roundabouts.
The real problem with almost all cars one runs across is no longer the type of drivetrain - AWD is a no-brainer. Rather, it's the major component layout. The best solution is regretably neither practical nor economical, and most manufacturers either ignore it as a result of this or ignore it b/c sanctioning bodies have banned the ideal layout. The ideal layout is of course mid-engine AWD. I can think of a handful or cars produced this way, and they are/were all quite remarkable: Ford RS200,
Panther Solo, MG Metro 6R4, Lancia Delta S4, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, (prototype) Ferrari 408. Even the die-hard front-engine makers like Audi were experimenting with a mid-engine AWD car.
But I digress... To settle the AWD/RWD debate, maybe one could look at cars from the same maker. A Lancia 037 (Volumex forced induction, 2.2L mid-engine RWD), even in its most evolved form, was *several* seconds per km slower than its Delta S4 (Volumex and exhaust gas turbo, 1.8 L mid-engine AWD) sibling, despite the Delta's teething problems. This is on any surface, including tarmac. Reactions/impressions/speculations I'd read at the time attributed this mostly to the dynamics, not the new motor (which initially suffered from boost gap issues where the Volumex and the turbo were meant to overlap, but, um, didn't...). That's the closest example I can think of, save for running a Jensen Interceptor vs. an Interceptor FF against one another on a road coarse flat out - and I don't know if that's been done in anger ever given the age of those cars nowadays. Or a 90s Carrera 2 vs. Carrera 4 - this is probably a lot easier to find. Anyone?