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Aerodynamic Optimisation of a Touring Car using Computational Fluid Dynamics & Wind Tunnel testing
Group Members
Dom Clements, Robbie Cole, James Dixon, Luke Reszke, Nathan Vosper
Dr Zhiwei Hu, Dr David Toal
Using computational fluid dynamic simulation software, the aerodynamics of a touring car was optimised for the Chinese Touring Car Championship to reduce lap times. The simulations are then validated using wind tunnel testing to confirm the results are correct for the real world.

The car was split into three sections to be designed in isolation and optimised for downforce. After analysing each component individually, they were compiled into one final model – similar to what has evolved in real racing teams. To find the optimum splitter design, a surrogate model was used to predict the entire design space from a small sample of possible solutions. The Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations were expeditated by using 2D assumptions and then correlating them to 3D results. Previous student work carried out at the University of Southampton has found optimum downforce designs through CFD and individual component testing. This project took that one step further and created a ¼ scale model of the whole car. The ride height was automated to predetermined positions during the wind tunnel test and internally controlled rotating wheels were used to better replicate real life driving conditions. A key feature of the wind tunnel model is the removable body allowing other car body shapes to be tested and different aerodynamic add on devices to be tested.

Some of the computationally expensive simulations including varying ride heights and wing angles on the full car were carried out in the wind tunnel to be able to gain information

analysis to test aerodynamic optimisation of car bodywork
Computational design for manufacture of 1/4 scale wind tunnel test model
Wind tunnel testing