Optimizing the Design of the Air Flow Orifice or Restrictor for Race Car Applications
Several race car competitions seek to limit engine power through a rule that requires all of the engine combustion air passes through a hole of prescribed diameter. As the approach and departure wall shapes to this hole, usually termed orifice or restrictor are not prescribed, there is opportunity for innovation in these shapes to obtain maximum flow and therefore power. This paper reports measurements made for a range of restrictor types including venturis with conical inlets and outlets of various angles and the application of slotted throats of the ‘Dall tube’ type. Although normal venturis have been optimized as subsonic flow measuring devices with minimum pressure losses, at the limit the flow in the throat is sonic and the down stream shocks associated with flow transition from sub-sonic to sonic are best handled with sudden angular changes and the boundary layer minimized by the corner slots between the convergent and divergent cones.