With a bit of a break before the opening races of the 2005 V8 Supercar season, back-to-back series champions Stone Brothers Racing have decided to keep the fans' minds ticking over.

SBR has compiled a series of racing terms designed to educate fans and keep them interested during the "off" season.

"I don't think you can ever know enough," Ross Stone said. "We have put these terms together so fans can become more educated on our sport and so they have somthing to keep their interest before we head to the AGP for support races in March.

"We hope all V8 Supercar fans had a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year and that the terms come in handy as they prepare for what is sure to be a great 2005 season."

Racing terms:

The science of managing airflow over, under and around a car plays a major role in V8 Supercar design and tuning. Areas of high and low pressure are carefully managed to maximise downforce (to help the tyres grip the ground) while minimising drag (to maximise speed). The two main areas involved in this are the surface area on the underside of the front bumper and the rear wing.

Mechanics can adjust a car's handling by raising or lowering air pressure in the tyres. Flex in the sidewall acts like another spring in the suspension. Increasing the air pressure makes the overall spring rate stiffer, while lowering the pressure will make it softer.

A mechanical linkage, one each for the front and rear suspensions, that helps transfer more weight to the inside tyres in the corners and helps keep all four tyres gripping the track. The driver adjusts the anti-roll bars with levers in the cockpit. Also called a sway bar.

The geometric inside centre point of a corner. In racing, a driver will often use a "late apex," turning into the corner a little later than normal in order to straighten out the last part of the corner. This allows the driver to accelerate earlier and harder, gaining maximum speed down the next straight.

A car running near the back of the field.

The fireproof hood drivers wear under their helmets to avoid burns to the face and neck.

Condition where there is no understeer or oversteer, which allows a car to move at the highest possible speed through corners.

Tyres subjected to excessive heat can form blisters on the surface that contacts the track. In V8 Supercars, this can occur when a car's handling is not quite right, resulting in excessive wear on one or more tyres. A blister is caused when the rubber tread compound exceeds its maximum operating temperature and melts, greatly reducing the tyre's ability to grip the road.

In most cars, including street cars, pressing on the brake pedal applies a little more force to the front brakes than the rear. This is designed to take advantage of the fact that under braking, weight transfers to the front of the car. With lots of weight on the front tyres, the brakes can be applied very hard without completely stopping the wheels from rotating ("locking the wheels"). At the same time, the rear of the car tends to get lighter, so the rear brakes must be engaged less than the fronts to avoid locking the rear wheels and possibly losing control. In a race car, brake bias is adjustable by the driver to compensate for changing conditions, such as on a wet track where there is less weight transfer to the front of the car under braking, or to adjust for a changing centre of gravity as fuel is used.

Brakes transform motion into heat. The heat in the cast-iron rotors of a V8 Supercar can reach 900 degrees C. When the fluid in the brake system exceeds its boiling point due to hard use, bubbles can form in the brake lines and calipers. Since these bubbles can be squeezed smaller by pressure from the brake pedal, the pedal tends to "go soft" and may even go to the floorboard without the brakes working properly.

The area leading into a turn where drivers apply the brakes to set the car up for manoeuvring through the turn. Each driver's braking point differs, depending on the car's setup and the driver's level of skill.

An element of chassis tuning. Each tyre can be tilted inward or outward depending on the track. The usual idea is to tilt the top of the tyre inward (negative camber) so that under cornering loads, the entire surface of the tread is being used to the maximum. Teams adjust the camber setting based on reading tyre temperatures across the surface of the tread, with the goal of having equal temperatures on the inside, middle and outside edges. Equal temperatures across the surface of the tyre indicate the tyre is being used to its maximum capacity.

When the track is unsafe because of an accident, debris or a sudden downpour, the officials may put the track under caution by waving yellow flags at the starter stand and around the track. This brings out the safety car to gather the field and lead them around at reduced speed until the track is safe for a restart.

A quick succession of sharp, slow turns, usually intended to reduce straight line speeds.

The area of the car where the driver sits.

Tyres are extremely important in racing, with Dunlop providing the rubber for V8 Supercars. Compound refers to the chemical composition of the rubber tread, which requires a balance between the conflicting goals of traction (soft compound) and durability (hard compound). In V8 Supercars competitors use what is called a "controlled" tyre which means they do not have a choice of tyre or compound.

Acronym for "Data Acquisition Geek or Guy," a computer expert who maintains a team's Data Acquisition system and analyses the data.

Teams use sophisticated sensors, transmitters, computers and software to provide information on what the car and the driver are doing. Everything from engine stress to the driver's heartbeat can be monitored. The information is analysed to improve handling, performance and even driver technique. Data can be acquired by connecting a computer to the car or by wireless telemetry.

This is a general automotive term describing the sum of the volume of the cylinders of the engine. The displacement of a V8 Supercar engine is 5.0 litres, allocated equally among 8 cylinders.

A crowd-pleasing victory celebration in which the driver hits the accelerator and spins the car in place, sending up a cloud of tyre smoke

A fast-moving car creates a low-pressure area behind it, causing the air to try to move with the car. A car following behind can take advantage of this low pressure as it actually sucks the car along faster, known as "being in the slipstream." A smart driver can either use the draft to pass, or to lift off slightly and conserve fuel.

A contraction of "Dynamometer," an engine-testing device used in the race shop that measures power and simulates the loads and environment of a racing engine.

The engine control unit in a V8 Supercar is a more sophisticated version of the computer in a street car, controlling functions such as ignition timing and fuel metering. An ECU can be easily reprogrammed by connecting a laptop computer to a plug on the side of the car. In V8 Supercar racing the ECU are a "controlled" device and are handed out to teams by race officials at each meeting.

If a tyre stops spinning and drags along the road, it can rub off an excess amount of rubber in that spot and cause a flat spot. This can happen from locking the brakes or from sliding sideways with one or more wheels not turning, and usually causes a severe vibration in the car at speed.

A bladder-like container to hold fuel. It is designed to be virtually puncture-proof, thus reducing the change of a fire during crashes.

The inertial force exerted upon drivers as the car changes direction. One "G" is equal to the force of gravity. Inertia causes a moving object to try and keep the same speed and direction of travel. As a V8 Supercar races around the track, any change in direction creates some amount of G Force. High-speed corners exert more G force on drivers than do very slow corners due to the additional grip provided by downforce as speeds increase, but braking, acceleration and rises or drops in the road also create "G"s.

The starting order of cars, as determined by qualifying position.

Grip is the car's ability to hold the road in a turn and while accelerating or braking. The amount of grip available is a function of the composition of the track, the composition of the tyres, aerodynamic downforce and mechanical issues such as roll centers, spring rate, shock dampening, tyre pressure and camber. It is also important to balance the relative grip at the front and rear of the car.