Aerodynamics of theComplete Vehicle
Just as racing success is measured in terms o time, so can the dierence betweenthe brilliant and less competent designs be measured by time: The winners areusually those who are the quickest to properly implement a new idea, i.e., by taking ewer iterations to arrive at the right solution. Resources or large budgetsare equivalent to time, so a large budget is oten exchangeable with wisdom.Given sucient time, teams with bad designs or lack o support, or both, willeventually reach the right solution—but in the meantime the brilliant (or theover-supported) teams will be working on their next trick. A careul observer o the technological advances in the various orms o motorsport can clearly seethe migration o good and bad ideas among the various teams.This short prologue is aimed at explaining the large number o black-magictricks that appear as aerodynamic modications—and why some o the weirdesto all came rom the best-supported teams. Because those teams could (and stillcan) aord the largest number o trial and errors (mostly mistakes), they haveseen the winner’s circle more oten—which does not necessarily mean that they always had the best aerodynamic design.The preceding chapters ocused our attention on the basic disciplinesinfuencing vehicle design and aerodynamics. In this chapter this inormationwill be used to examine both generic body shapes applicable to high-speedvehicle design and some o the components aimed at improving the aerodynamicperormance o various race cars. Later on I will ocus on those tricks that didwork, and or the sake o brevity will ignore those that did not (e.g., doublefoors, three wings, with one above the driver, etc.).In order to simpliy this initial discussion, the numerous shapes o race carsare grouped into three generic categories:
Sedan-based race cars: IMSA GTU, GTO, NASCAR, European Touring, etc.These cars bear strong resemblance in their outer lines to their passengercar sibling, and only minor aerodynamic modications are allowed. Fig. 6-1shows one such a vehicle (1993, IMSA GTS Class) with open windows, butno opening doors (which is a widely used concept).
Enclosed-wheel race cars: IMSA GTP, FISA group C, etc. These vehicles arebasically the designer’s dream, since the body shape is mostly unrestricted.Most leagues allow underbody tunnels (venturis) and complex wing shapes.Fig. 6-2 depicts an example.
Open-wheel race cars: Indy, Formula 1, 2, etc. These vehicles have ourexposed wheels, a narrow body which may have underbody tunnels (Indy