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I will test this tonight, but I have a very strong hunch that the damage is not only based on the distance to the tank and the part of the tank that's getting damaged, but also the angle at which the projectile arrives at the tank.
I remember that in BC2, there was a significant difference to tank depending on RPG/CG/AT4 angle of attack on Abrams side armor. If I recall correctly, a shot that was perpendicular to the side armor did the most damage, whereas more acute or obtuse angles gave lesser damage.
Found this chart/site a few weeks ago. All data on the site is read from the game's file system, so everything should be accurate. Damage done to a tank is affected by the angle that the rocket or shell hits at.
To me, I see it as this: Hit the tank in the rear whenever possible. The minimum damage is 36, from any angle, as opposed to 36 MAX damage for a direct 90 degree hit to the side. If you can only see the front of the tank, pray that it turns because the front damage will only do 22. Don't forget about reactive armor either.