Bobsled tracks are nearly a mile long, and the sleds -- four-man and two-man -- can reach speeds above 90 miles per hour. Heavier sleds ride faster, and while international rules limit the maximum weight to 390 kg (859.8 lbs) when loaded, the distribution of the weight can make a big difference, according to Scully.
The team replaced the existing Kevlar and fiberglas body of the sled with a special carbon fiber cooked in an auto-clave to several hundred degrees. The heating reduced the mass of the carbon fiber, while making it stronger. This in turn allowed the design team to make the entire sled lighter, and reposition weight where it was most needed.
"Aerodynamically, the reduction of frontal area, the silhouette it cast on the wall, was a big change," he said. "Also from a physics standpoint, we were trying to centralize the mass and reduce overhangs so that when the sled changes direction, the mass doesn't resist it."
With a sleeker front profile, Scully also looked to make more room for the driver inside and introduced a new steering mechanism.