On the Aerodynamics of an Enclosed-Wheel Racing Car: an assessment and proposal of add-on devices for a fourth, high-performance configuration of the DrivAer model

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0725

Published:
  • 2018-04-03
Abstract:
A modern benchmark for passenger cars – DrivAer model – has provided significant contributions to aerodynamics-related topics in automotive engineering, where three categories of passenger cars have been successfully represented. However, a reference model for high-performance car configurations has not been considered appropriately. Technical knowledge in motorsport is also restricted due to competitiveness in performance, reputation and commercial gains. The consequence is a shortage of open-access material to be used as technical references for either motorsport community or academic research purposes. In this paper, a parametric assessment of race car aerodynamic devices are presented into four groups of studies. These are: (i) forebody strakes, (ii) front bumper splitter, (iii) rear-end spoiler, and (iv) underbody diffuser. The simplified design of these add-ons focuses on the main parameters (such as length, position, or incidence), leading to easier manufacturing for experiments and implementation in computational studies. Consequently, the proposed model aims to address enclosed-wheel racing car categories, adapting a simplified, 35% scaled-model DrivAer Fastback shape (i.e. smooth underbody, no wheels, and with side mirrors). Experimental data was obtained at the 8ft x 6ft Cranfield Wind Tunnel using an internal balance for force and moment measurements. The aerodynamic performance of each group of add-on was assessed individually in a range of ride heights over a moving belt. All cases represent the vehicle at a zero-yaw condition, Reynolds number (car length-based) of 5.2×106 and Mach number equal to 0.12. The proposed high-performance configuration (DrivAer hp-F) was tested and a respective Reynolds number dependency study is also provided. In line with the open-access concept of the DrivAer model, the CAD geometry and experimental data will be made available online to the international community to support independent studies.
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