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The last two decades have seen a steady build up of the R&D effort going into vehicle dynamics modeling, particularly by those teams that design and develop cars as well as race them. The pace of development has been set by the availability of powerful PC's, the generation of vehicle and component data, and the supply of suitably qualified graduates to carry out the work. Their task is to be able to model and predict the effects of every nuance of aerodynamic, tire, engine, damper etc., characteristic on the speed of their car at every point on a given circuit. The detail in the model will only be limited by available dynamic characteristics and track data, and will require a driver model to complete the picture. However, they are only interested in the performance of the car while the tires are in contact with the tarmac, and the driver is operating them at or below their peaks.
Predicting the trajectory and velocity of a racing car when it is driven at the limit within the confines of a racing track, is now the subject of a great deal of analytical work by almost all teams involved in racing at all levels. However, predicting the trajectory and velocity of a car once the driver has lost control of it has not been something the teams have devoted a great deal of time to. This can now also be analyzed though in the same sort of detail, to assess the safety features of the circuits on which it is raced. The two tasks are very different, and the FIA had to start almost from scratch when it set out to develop software for its Circuit and Safety Analysis System (CSAS).