Race Car Aerodynamics

In this video, we will be discussing race car aerodynamics. Frontal area If you want to reduce aerodynamic drag as much as you can, you want to keep the frontal area as low as you can. That is why race cars are quite small & low, very close to the ground. Click here to learn more on aerodynamic drag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbIIw-WryHY Front splitter At the front, the air hits the car. This generates a high-pressure zone pushing onto the car, but also onto the front splitter. The front splitter is a flat plate in front of the car that feels and captures this high-pressure air and pulls the car downwards generating down force. Dive planes Dive planes are the curved planes at the front wheel arches. They make sure that the wind jumps up, pushing the front of the car downwards as a result. Wheel arch ventilation The front wheels rotate at a high velocity creating a high-pressure air zone. If you ventilate that high pressure air at the top of the front wheel arches, this will push down the front wheel arches, especially as this air collides with the incoming air in front of the car. Top air intake We want to make sure that we provide high-pressure air to the engine, because that increases the power output. We can do so by positioning the air intakes high above the car in the free stream of the air to provide good capturing of air when it hits them. Rear wing This wing is comparable to the wing of an airplane, only it’s flipped upside down to not pull the car upward but to push it downward onto the asphalt. You want to make sure that the wing is positioned high enough so that it is in the free stream of the air and not in the dirty, turbulent air that is generated by the air intakes or other geometry of the car upstream. Diffuser The diffuser is the part that improves the transition from airflow underneath the car to the wake behind the car. If done right, this can strongly accelerate the air underneath the car creating a low-pressure zone pulling the car downward onto the ground. Click here to learn more on how a car diffuser works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UgacwMJpuk&t=64s Aerodynamic balance This is the ratio between the down force at the front wheels and the down force at the rear wheels. You can play with this a lot in function of the track you want to race at. It is important as it influences the car’s handling, for example understeer and oversteer. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wouter Remmerie Wouter is the Founder of AirShaper, an online, virtual wind tunnel. With this tool and these videos, we want to make aerodynamics accessible to everyone! Interested in more content like this on the field of aerodynamics? Make sure to click that subscribe button, we post new videos every week! Looking for a way to test your Aerodynamics projects without all the hassle and the huge costs coming with it? Check out https://www.AirShaper.com and see how easy it can be!

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Code contributions by

  • KU Leuven
  • Inholland
  • Linkoping University