Racing through Simulations
Kyle Maxey posted on October 16, 2013 |
Simulation helps slash time on race track

ANSYS, Ferrari, WEC, racing, austin, simulation, FEA, CAD, In the World Endurance Championship (WEC), races can last up to 24 hours. To make sure each system performs at its peak condition, Amato Ferrari (AF) Corse turn to sophisticated simulations when designing parts.

When I visited the Ferrari paddock at the FIA WEC in Austin, engineers on the AF Corse team took me on a detailed tour of their racer. To my surprise, one of the driving forces behind their component redesigns was the need to cool the brake system.

Over the course of the 6 hour race, drivers switch between accelerating and braking along the 3.4 mile (5.5 km) snaking track at a dizzying pace. Not surprisingly, the brakes on AF Corse’s Ferraris get pretty hot. To help cool the braking system, engineers at Corse had to redesign their car to force more air onto the brakes.   

ANSYS, Ferrari, WEC, racing, austin, simulation, FEA, CAD, Inlets that run tangent to the racer’s brakes were modified to allow ample air to flow through the wheel well and exit without perturbing the airflow. This guarantees maximum downward force on the car to maintain grip.  The same was true for a second inlet that fed the rear wheel brakes. However, in this case Corse designers had to re-engineer the car’s external mirrors so that it maintained its aerodynamic form without disturbing air flow supplying the rear engine.

After performing many fluid dynamics simulations to analyze different designs, the team’s engineers found an optimal solution that aided their win of the 6 hour WEC race.

But being able to apply robust simulation to an auto design is only half the story.  According to Corse’s engineers, the ANSYS simulation software they use delivers accurate and rapid result so that they can continually improve the design, pushing the team towards WEC champion status.

Images Courtesy of AF Corse and ANSYS

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