Aerodynamic Effects of Indy Car Components 2002-01-3311
A generic, Indy-type, open-wheel, racecar model was tested in a low speed, fixed ground wind tunnel. The elevated ground plane method was selected for the road simulation since one of the objectives was to allow flow visualization under the car (and this is not possible with current rolling ground wind tunnel setups). Consequently, both the groundplane and the wind tunnel floor were transparent to facilitate the flow visualization under the vehicle. The aerodynamic loads were measured by a six-component balance, and an effort was made to quantify the partial contributions of the various vehicle components. The main trends and aerodynamic interactions measured with this setup appear to be similar to data measured in larger wind tunnels using rolling ground simulations. As expected, the two wings and the underbody vortex generators generated most of the aerodynamic downforce. The very small rear diffusers allowed by the new millennium regulations are less effective than before, and their contribution to vehicle downforce is quite small. In terms of the drag force, the main contributors are the four large wheels, the two wings and the body's downforce induced drag.