Racecar Front Wing Aerodynamics

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
SAE International
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A numerical study of a racecar front wing is presented. The focus of the study is to investigate the aerodynamics characteristics of a wing operating in a small ground clearance. A finite-span wing with a symmetric airfoil section is used. It was found that as the wing gets closer to the ground it generates more downforce and more drag. As the wing gets very close to the ground, the downforce reaches a maximum value and after that the wing generated less downforce as it gets closer to the ground. The drag force follows a similar trend of dependency on the ground clearance. The lower surface of the wing and the ground form a convergent-divergent-nozzle shape that is responsible of all the changes in the generated forces. For very small ground clearances, the boundary layers developed on the wing lower surface and the ground get closer to each other, decrease the airflow below the wing and ultimately decrease the generated downforce significantly. The study was preformed using the CFD package STAR-CCM+, developed by CD-adapco.

2008 SAE
Author Name: 
W. A. Mokhtar
J. Lane