1. Project Title
The Effect of Frontal Spoilers on aerodynamic performance of ‘GT3’ Class Race Cars with possible re-design and modifications to give optimum racing performance.
Thomas Wallis, University of Warwick Undergraduate Student, Undertaking project
Dr Yongmann M Chung, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Project Supervision
Eclipse Motorsport, GT3 class racing team, currently participating in the British GT championships.
Mosler Automotive, The manufacturers of the MT900. Who are in full support of the project
3. Project Specification
The key objective of this project is to look into what shape, position and type of frontal spoiler gives the maximum benefit to a GT3 class race car, and whether down force or minimal drag or air intake into cooling radiators is of the utmost importance. Which one is required will be decided in a meeting with the Chief engineer of ‘Eclipse Racing’ in the next few weeks, where issues that need addressing will be discussed and further direction of the project can be outlined. From this point new designs and options can be investigated, hopefully coming up with a new design to give far better aerodynamic properties.
The frontal spoiler has 3 main aims;
- To increase downforce
- To reduce drag of the vehicle and improve airflow above and below the car
- To ensure the optimum amount of air is being directed into the large radiators which maintain the correct engine temperature
I will do a detailed model of the front of the Mosler MT900 GT3 car, and then run many computational fluid dynamic calculations, developing progressively to give the greatest positive outcome. The whole project will be ran in conjunction with the team at Eclipse Motorsport, with the possibility of physical testing and research being done with the car at a later stage if finances allows it.
4. Project Methodology
This section is written in bullet points, outlining each stage of work, in order of when they will be done.
- Familiarise myself with the software that will be used, including Solidworks and Cosmos Floworks
- Meet with Eclipse Motorsport to outline plans for the project
- Model (in high detail) the front end and floor plan of a Mosler MT900 race car, with a reasonable rear section to show accurately the aerodynamic flows
- Research Aerodynamic flows and race car aerodynamics to look for possible new design ideas.
- Meet again with Eclipse Motorsport to discus front end options and what is currently used, compared to what could be used and other options and possibilities as found in research and from preliminary tests.
- Model New designs for frontal spoilers and run aerodynamic calculations, then review results
- Write up findings and discus new options. These will be shown to Eclipse Motorsport to show possible new ideas
Possible Follow Up:
- Choose best design with Eclipse Motorsport team
- Get front spoiler made up and test on the Mosler MT900 race car.
5. Project Resources
The main resources used in this project will be software based. In the first term this will be mainly solidworks CAD software. Followed by using cosmos Floworks in the 2nd and 3rd term.
I will also require a computer with a very high specification to allow me to run the simulations accurately, giving a good portfolio of high quality results.
If follow on work is undertaken, many other pieces of equipment will be needed such as modelling machines, wind tunnels etc etc. But this is not in the original plan of work so does not need to be covered.
To begin with all the resources I require are readily available in the Engineering department at University of Warwick. The only other resource I require is a camera to take detailed pictures of the MT900 GT3 car. But I already have this and it is ready to use.
In truth, there are actually very few resources required to successfully complete the project to a high standard.
6. Project Timetable
October 2007: Familiarise myself with Solidworks and CFD software, This should only take two or three sessions of 2-3 hours using the CAD and CFD software
October – December 2007: Create solid works model of an MT900 race car front end, in current specification of Eclipse Motorsport’s Car. In this time a meeting will be arranged with Eclipse to discus the project and get indepth hands on knowledge of the car, I feel this will take around 50 – 75 hours using solidworks.
December 2007 – March 2008: Run preliminary Computational Fluid Dynamic flow models to show the current flows around the front end of the car. Checking airflow into radiators, drag created and flow beneath the cars floor pan. Due to the length of time that each calculation takes this will take up to 100hours
March 2008 – June 2008: Make changes and hopeful improvements to design and run CFD tests to check results of changes. Again due to the length of time the CFD calculations take, I feel 100hours is a good rough estimate for the time needed to complete this section
June 2008 – Aug 2008: Make final decision on improved design and write up report, showing improvements and how it has changed the race car for the better. Full right up should take around 25 hours.
7. Risk Assessment
This project is actually relatively safe. The major risks faced for most of the project will be the amount of time spent sitting at a computer.
Risk: Damaging Eyes by looking at screen for too long
Action: Take breaks every hour for at least 10minutes to allow eyes to rest.
Further Action Needed: None
There may also be risks when visiting the race teams workshop in Mansfield, however when this occurs, another risk assessment will be carried out by the race team to ensure my safety.