Aerodynamic Performance of the Underbody and Wings of an Open-Wheel Race CarReport as inadecuate

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Transactions of FAMENA, Vol.40 No.2 July 2016. -

Basic aerodynamic characteristics of a generic open-wheel race car equipped with various aerodynamic devices are studied. The focus is on the influence of car underbody design and the front and rear wings on aerodynamic forces experienced by the car. Computational simulations are carried out assuming the steady viscous fluid flow and using the Reynolds-averaged-Navier-Stokes equations and the standard shear stress transport SST k-ω turbulence model. The lift force in the configuration with a flat car underbody without a rear diffuser at the trailing edge of the car underbody and without the wings is positive undesirable upforce, while a negative lift force favourable downforce is obtained in all configurations with aerodynamic devices underbody rear diffuser, front wing, rear wing. The aerodynamic devices create an increased, undesirable drag force in comparison with the configuration without the aerodynamic devices. The downforce and the drag force are similar when wings consisting of two and three elements are used. This indicates that, for the same overall chord and wind incidence angle, the number of wing elements is not a very important factor influencing the aerodynamic loads experienced by this type of open-wheel race car with a similar front and rear wing layout. The optimal configurations with respect to the lift-to-drag ratio are those with the rear diffuser and wings in place. In the configuration with three-element wings, streamlines in the region of the rear wing are analysed both computationally and experimentally using the tuft flow technique. Good agreement between the computational and limited experimental results regarding streamlines is achieved. However, this would need to be further analysed quantitatively in order to fully validate the developed computational model.

Race car aerodynamics; car underbody and wings; computational simulations; field experiments

Author: Andrija Buljac - ; Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia Hrvoje Kozmar



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