Racecar Rear-Wing Setup Optimization via 2D CFD Simulations

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ART Grand Prix, a motorsport company based near Paris in France, is committed to the highest level of motorsport. Competing actively in GP2, GP3 and GT championships, this team has built a strong palmares over the last decade. Some of their former drivers, like Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, subsequently became world champions in Formula 1.

Without denying the talent of the drivers, their success is not only due to them. Behind these victories and these titles, there is a team of mechanics and engineers dedicated to extracting the best from the cars while respecting the technical, safety and sporting regulations. ART competes in monotype championships where vehicles are provided by the organizer. The flexibility of engineers, although greatly reduced, can help to provide a critical edge, which is often the difference between victory and being a "runner up".

In our case, we are in the off-season. The staff in charge of the GP3 program prepare what looks to be a promising season. The cars were renewed, and are now more powerful. As a consequence, they require new settings, especially for the aerodynamic setup. My job here as a trainee was to calculate the rear wing polar curve for given angles of attack by performing steady-state 2D CFD calculations on STAR-CCM+. The objective of this study is to define the values ​​of CD and Cl for the rear wing, with and without gurney. Therefore, we will be able to analyze the impact of a gurney in our configuration and subsequently update the aerodynamic setup for the new car.

Author Company: 
Lotus Cars Limited
Author Name: 
Faïssal Fdil