What is ballast?


Quick Answer

Ballast is a term for weight put on cars to affect handling performance. The use of ballast is most common in racing, specifically in situations when cars have a minimum weight.

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Full Answer

The term "ballast" is specific to weight distribution. This can be in reference to the placement of operating components such as the fuel tank or battery. If additional weight is needed, a lead bar or other heavy material is sometimes bolted to a racing vehicle. The performance desired dictates the best placement of ballast. In dirt racing a high center of gravity is required. In track racing the opposite is true. Sometimes ballast will be added in a pit stop to compensate for the effect of fuel consumption on handling in situations where refueling is not possible.

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