Aerodynamics in Race Cars

Aerodynamics in Race Cars
Aerodynamics In Race Cars
 The main focus in building and designing a successful
race car is making it aerodynamically efficient.
 The car must be versatile, durable, safe, and most
important, fast.
 The challenge for the design team is to create car that
can race on any type of track, whether it be on tight
corners or long straightaways.
Car Development and Racing Physics
 The aerodynamics of the race car is multi-functional.
1. To make it as streamline as possible.
2. To provide downforce for the race vehicle.
3. To control the airflow over the car’s body.
 Streamlining a vehicle means reducing the drag of
the vehicle traveling through the air.
 This is done two ways:
1.Making the surfaces in contact with the air as
smooth as possible.
2.Decreasing the size of the car, as reduction in the
cross-sectional area of the vehicle will result in less
drag and in turn high speed.
 Downforce is the opposite of lift.
 Lift occurs due to a difference in pressures on
opposite sides of aerofoils caused by Bernoulli’s
effect. The wings on race cars are essentially wings
flipped upside-down so that the lifting force is
directed in a downward direction.
1.The theory behind creating downforce is
to increase the force that the vehicle has on the ground.
2.This in turn will increase the traction of the tires,
enabling the race cars to make sharp turns at higher
Front Wing
 The front wing is the first thing that comes in
contact with oncoming airflow, therefore it is
designed to
1. give the vehicle downforce directed at the front
2. direct the airflow over the body.
Front Wing
 The front wing assembly directs air toward the
under-body of the chassis, toward the radiators,
diffusers, and rear wings, and over and around the
 Any change in the airflow over the front wing will
change the overall airflow over the entire vehicle.
 With optimum settings for the front wing, it can
produce about 1500 lbs of downforce.
Rear wing
 The rear wing is designed to provide an
enormous downforce focused to the rear tyres.
 This gives the vehicle great traction for
acceleration and turning.
Rear Wing
 Optimum wings can create as much as 3000 lbs of
 Creating more downforce by the rear wing results in
more drag.
 Therefore, engineers try to design the wings for the
best drag/downforce compromise. This can vary
depending on track conditions, and racing
 The chassis is designed to produce maximum
downforce for the vehicle. This is done in two ways:
1. the design of the underbody and
2. giving the vehicle a “rake.”
 In doing so, the car can make sharp turns at high
speeds while maintaining complete control of the
 A “rake” means the rear of the race car is higher
than the front.
 This results in the car’s body acting as an aerofoil,
and produces downforce for the entire vehicle.
 The special design of the underbody allows an area
of low pressure under the car.
 This results in the car being sucked toward the track
by the passing airflow.
 The diffuser is usually found on each side of the central
engine and gearbox fairing and is located behind the
rear axle line.
 The diffuser consists of many tunnels and splitters. It is
designed carefully to guide and control airflow
underneath the racecar.
 Essentially, it creates a suction effect on the rear of
the racecar and pulls the car down to the track.The
suction effect is a result of Bernoulli’s equation,
which states that where speed is higher, pressure
must be lower.
 This implies that the pressure below the racecar
must be lower than the pressure at the outlet since
the speed of the air below the racecar will be higher
than the speed of the air at the outlet.
Thank You

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