V8 Supercars

Glossary of Terms

A box of neutrals...

A driver description for a missed gearshift.

BigPond says always be kind to your engine’s valve springs and remember eat your veggies!


A reference or clipping point in the middle of the corner.

The point at which the car ceases to enter and begins to exit a corner.

Not a charitable volunteer organization!
Something to aim for on the circuit and often left behind as missing in action!


Anti roll bar.
A V8 Supercar suspension component used to control body roll.

FARB = front anti roll bar.
RARB = rear anti roll bar.

We thought an anti roll bar was a pub that only sold steak?


A term used to describe a slower car.

A handy person/car to frequently blame when things go wrong.


Parts of the under section of the car occasionally touching the road.
Often under brakes or over bumps and typically when the vehicle ride height is set too low or the suspension settings are too soft.

But on the up side - the sparks always make great photo images!


A term describing wheel spin generated by the driver applying excessive throttle.

A technique used to “warm” tyres prior to a race start.

And a mighty fine way to celebrate a race win!


The angle of the wheels, measured in degrees, relative to a vertical reference line.

“Negative” camber is utilized to overcome tyre distortion and provide a more efficient tyre “footprint” under lateral (side load) on a V8 Supercar.

Front wheels/tyres require more negative camber to cope with greater distortion due to the changes of steering angle in a turn.

Sure looks like that car was dropped off the back of a truck to us...


Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS)
The governing body controlling motor sport in Australia.

This is no place for humour. Look up DSQ!


An artificial series of tight corners, usually within a straight track section, designed to slow the cars to control run-off speeds.

A fantastic launching pad to get those cars up on two wheels!

Clean Air

Air not affected by the turbulence created by other cars.

Clean air - quite a handy human requirement often overlooked in many northern hemisphere cities!

Control Tyre

A “control” item is a mandatory item stipulated in the rules for use by all competitors.
Dunlop provides the control tyres (wet & dry) for all V8 Supercar competition.

Marcos Ambrose at Canberra 2001 was the best example of a control tyre, YouTube it!


Car of the Future.

Customer Car

A V8 Supercar car built by one car constructor/team and sold to and operated by another team.


Short for differential.

A “diff” is coupled to the tailshaft and in turn links to the axles that drive the rear wheels of a V8 Supercar.

Currently, V8 Supercars use a “spool” diff which simply means both rear wheels rotate at the same speed all the time - even during turns.

By direct comparison, most road car rear wheels cleverly rotate at different speeds therefore assisting the vehicle turning process. The device that performs this engineering marvel is called a diff - hence the device description - differential!


A small section of the underbody (behind the fuel tank and in front of the rear bumper) that aids the airflow beneath the car.


Driving Standards Observer.

The bloke (ex driver Tomas Mezera) that gives other officials and stewards some guidance when things get sticky on the track. He also tries to save the drivers from themselves sometimes!

Drivers Briefing

A compulsory meeting between officials and drivers prior to the commencement of qualifying/racing.

Miss it or run late for the deadline and drivers make a $500 contribution to a cause other than self!


Did not finish.


Did not start.



When the drivers spend time in the naughty corner. This is what happens to you in racing when you fail to play nicely with others!


Downforce is really Lift by another name.

Aircraft wings generate Lift enabling the concept of flight.

By mounting V8 Supercar wings upside down (when compared with an aircraft) these wings create Lift in another direction (downforce) reducing the normal tendency for most sedan bodies to generate lift at higher speeds.

Engine Control Unit (ECU)

The electronic unit (a control item supplied by Motec) that controls the spark and fuel settings in the engine.

The cars brain! *Evil laugh* Mwahahaha.


The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

Flat shift

Holding the 100% throttle during a gear change.

Flat spot

Damage to the surface of the tyre typically caused by locking a brake. (See locked brake)

... and also most of the middle of Australia.


The level of adhesion felt by the driver between the tyres and the circuit.

... and according to every driver we know - there’s never enough of it.

Green tyres

New, unused racing tyres.

They're not actually green btw!

Installation Lap

A slow speed lap of the circuit to assist engineers with a full vehicle systems check before returning to the pit lane and without crossing the start/finish line.

Jump Start

Commencing the race prematurely before the start protocol/procedure has been fully completed.

Kitty Litter

A circuit safety feature. The gravel trap in the run-off area.


Any movement of the brake disc rotor and brake calipers can result in the brake caliper pistons moving back into the brake caliper.

This is described as “knockoff”.

The unfortunate side effect is having substantial brake pedal travel upon application and often little or no front brakes and fully functional rear brakes.

Known knockoff spots make good spectating at the next corner. Watch for the drivers with wide eyes and white knuckles...

Locked brake

Completely stopping the rotation of a wheel & tyre as a result of the driver using excessive brake pedal pressure.


The sign held in front of the driver by the car controller during a pit stop.


A build up of used racing tyre rubber and debris around the edges of a circuit.

Also an old fashioned but quite intriguing game with glass balls...

Mobile chicane

An unflattering description by one driver of another.
(See back marker)

Heard in most pit garages most weekends most often...

Out lap

The lap commenced immediately after departing the pit lane.


The rear of the car sliding.

With oversteer you never know what you’re going to hit...

Parc Ferme

The secure area used to contain the cars after a race. A closed park.

Those funny little French folk came up with this one...

Pole Position

The number 1 starting position on the grid.

Race Director

The senior official responsible for managing all aspects of the safe operation of the race.


Racing Entitlements Contract.
An agreement between V8 Supercars and each Team that provides such Team with their racing entitlements and obligations.

Rev limit

The electronic limit placed on the maximum speed of the engine.
i.e. 7500 rpm in V8 Supercars.

Drivers can often also be on the rev-limit...

Shift Cut

A switch on the gear lever that interrupts engine performance for a milli-second to enable a rapid car-change. (See Flat Shift)

Short Shifting

Upshifting to a higher gear at lower than normal engine rpm/upshift point.

This is often done to save fuel or during wet track conditions.


A collision.

Also a popular move at many rail yards.

Shutting the door

Moving over to prevent another competitor from passing.

A move often viewed poorly by the receiver resulting in a Shunt (See shunt)

Soft Tyres and Hard Tyres

The softer the tyre, the more grip it has although the more grip it has, the shorter the life of the tyre. Different tyre combinations then create a strategy for when a team chooses to use the soft instead of the hard tyres.

Love seeing faster cars coming from the back to take a win.


The large flat protrusion attached to the front bumper and undertray section of a V8 Supercar.

Also an outsider referred to in the Monty Python movie The Life Of Brian.

Supplementary Regulations

Further information issued to competitors after the publication of the main body of rules and regulations.

Print these out and take them with you to the next race meeting, they'll make you look really important.


Contact between competitors resulting in the nose of one car hitting another car side-on in the mid section.

Excellent with chips.


Used in V8 Supercar racing by drivers to describe how much grip is available between the tyres and the road under extreme acceleration.

Trail braking

Continued application of the brake pedal beyond the normal “strong line braking” through to the turn-in phase of the corner approach and sometimes all the way to the apex.

Also known as extreme bush walking.


The cambered under section of the front bumper/splitter/assembly on a V8 Supercar forming the basis of the front wing.


The front of the car sliding and not responding in accordance with the drivers steering input.

With understeer you do know what you’re going to hit...


V8 Supercars Championship Series.