Audi Canada

Audi develops worldly aerodynamics for Le Mans

Even a timeline shows a tighten couple between a competition car’s aerodynamic growth and a simple concept. The aerodynamicists of Audi Sport were concerned in a integrity of a judgment for a stream competition automobile from a summer of 2012. “We typically start with a severe initial layout,” explains Jan Monchaux, Head of Aerodynamics during Audi Sport. “The engine concept, a wheelbase and a schematic sketch of a automobile yield us with a pivotal data. We subsequently pattern a initial simple aerodynamic shape. In a subsequent step, we investigate a opening intensity by means of CFD.” Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculates phenomena of liquid dynamics regulating indication equations. In a initial growth stage, this eliminates a need for extremely some-more formidable breeze hovel tests. “We afterwards continue to elaborate a strengths of a initial pattern step by step and revoke intensity deficits in a process,” adds Jan Monchaux.

The aim followed by a developers is always a same. “To grasp a potency targets tangible by a regulations, it is required to find a ideal ratio between aerodynamic drag and downforce,” says Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology during Audi Sport. “Using mixed simulations, we try to explain even before a initial exam either or not a automobile generates sufficient downforce to grasp a preferred cornering speeds. At a same time, it is required to forestall impassioned aerodynamic drag since we have to be quick on a straights as well. Another plea ensuing from a 2014 regulations is to pattern a aerodynamics in a approach that optimally complies with a specified expenditure targets.”  

The surprising lane characteristics of a Le Mans circuit poise a special challenge. The lane in Western France with a prolonged straights and many high-speed turns allows impassioned parameters. A year ago, Audi bureau motorist André Lotterer on his fastest competition path (3m 22.746s) achieved an normal speed of 242 km/h.

For this reason, Audi has grown dual variants: one physique chronicle with minimal aerodynamic drag for Le Mans and one for a other 7 WEC marks that need aloft downforce. Even during initial glance, a dual physique versions clearly differ from any other, as could be seen during their corner fielding during Spa. “Nearly all a applicable areas of a bodywork have been optimized,” explains Jan Monchaux. At a front, a mutated fenders with openings on a inside instead of during a tip are noticeable. The differences during a back are conspicuous. The physique is now flush with a back wing and entirely uses a limit length of 4,650 millimeters. By contrast, a high-downforce chronicle has a condensed body. The tailpipes differ as well. For Le Mans, they do not exit to a right and left of a executive fin though during a physique aspect above a diffusor.  

“The plea of minimizing aerodynamic drag has serve increasing underneath a new 2014 potency regulations,” says Monchaux. In a simulation, Audi calculates a parameter for aerodynamic drag that contingency not be exceeded so that correspondence with a expenditure targets determined by a regulations is ensured. At a same time, certain downforce parameters contingency be achieved in sequence to make good cornering speeds possible. “We have to grasp pinpoint correctness in this box while in a past there was some-more room for maneuver,” says a aerodynamicist. At Spa, on May 3, both physique versions were parallel fielded for a initial time. The measurements performed for automobile #3, a Audi R18 e-tron quattro designed for Le Mans and driven by Filipe Albuquerque (P) and Marco Bonanomi (I) reliable a assumptions done by Audi Sport. As a result, Audi is targeting a Le Mans 24 Hours in Jun with worldly aerodynamics.

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Note to editors: Every Monday until a Le Mans competition on Jun 14/15, we will be providing we with new credentials information on a R18 plan and Audi’s joining in a world’s many famous continuation race. Next week’s topic: a credentials of a team.