ChrisTropea Associate Editor
1/13/23 2:00 p.m.

What is one of the best ways to analyze a car’s aerodynamics without having to go to a traditional wind tunnel? What if you could put that car into a virtual wind tunnel, instead?

Rob Lindsey, owner of Morlind Engineering, explains how computational fluid dynamics (CFD) works, and how i…

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livinon2wheels Reader
1/14/23 2:05 p.m.

Lovely idea and sounds really good for teams that have that kind of budget...$5K for an 'ideal' aero package would be great for teams that are actually winning races or are almost winning and think this is the missing link in their on track performance. In my own case, keeping the nut behind the wheel torqued to specification is the biggest factor in my on track success or failure. And $5k approaches or in some cases exceeds my entire annual budget. A $5k aero package design hardly sounds like 'grass roots' to me. 

alfadriver MegaDork
1/14/23 2:45 p.m.

In reply to livinon2wheels :

GRM appeals to a lot of different budgets.  Over the years, you see cars from low end GRM Challenge cars, up to One Lap racers and beyond.  The Vette and Z car that are current project cars may be high end for may, but for some, they are pretty nominal- which is why they are projects for the magazine.

And a $5k aero package is not much when compared to what people spend on engines and transmissions with upgrades.  I paid that for a mild engine upgrade for my Alfa 25 years ago.  And for that comparison, I would not think a $5k aero package is all that much.

The other aspect of the article should also be the DIY path to do the same thing.  Find a way to run the model yourself via various ways of getting computer time (or even using a high end gaming system to run the model).   This is an aspect that one can teach themselves and then use that skill to market to other people.  It's hardly easy, but it's also quite possible.

frenchyd MegaDork
1/14/23 4:11 p.m.

In reply to livinon2wheels :

Agreed. Then some either like the car as designed or run with groups that don't approve  or allow such modifications.  
   Finally. Aero at 30 mph is different than stuff needed at 150+ mph. So when a package designed for autocross is not going to do well at Daytona, Elkhart Lake, Watkins Glen, And Visa  Versa.  
    But to be fair, it's probably the perfect solution for a team Running in SCCA. Without any examples of developed aero packages.  

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
1/15/23 6:28 a.m.

Here's one data point: I rolled the 350Z off the trailer yesterday for its first NASA event ever at a track I've never been to. And the car earned a podium finish in a relatively large TTU field, and would have cleaned up in TT2 if I'd had my dyno paperwork in order. It took zero adjustments to get there.

Could I have gotten to this point without all of the homework and simulations? Probably, but I'm not sure it would have happened right off the trailer.


Bizwacky New Reader
3/13/24 4:29 p.m.

I think a $5k pricetag for having pros run CFD for you is pretty reasonable given the time and skill involved, and I think it meets the cost benefit for highly competitive higher-budget teams. Especially in time trial, where aero mods are pretty open. 

For our lemons/champcar team, where the $50/run for airshaper was a bit spendy, I've been experimenting with running openFOAM myself on a free video game model of our car that I modified to be watertight in blender. So far, I'm still banging my head on that learning curve but I'm hoping we can learn something useful. 

I'd love to see GRM do a highcar/lowcar style comparison of different aero development techniques. It's a poorly understood and under-covered part of our sport. 

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