Since the goal of racing is to win and since drag is a force that the vehicle must overcome, a thorough understanding of the drag generating airflow around and through a race car is greatly desired. The external airflow contributes to most of the drag that a car experiences and most of the downforce the vehicle produces. Therefore, an estimate of the vehicle’s performance may be evaluated using a computational fluid dynamics model. First, a computer model of the race car was created from the measurements of the car obtained by using a laser triangulation system. After a computer-aided drafting model of the actual car was developed, the model was simplified by removing the tires, roof strakes, and modification of the spoiler. A mesh refinement study was performed by exploring five cases with different mesh densities. By monitoring the convergence of the computed drag coefficient, the case with 2 million elements was selected as being the baseline case. Results included flow visualization of the pressure and velocity fields and the wake in the form of streamlines and vector plots. Quantitative results included lift and drag, and the body surface pressure distribution to determine the centerline pressure coefficient. When compared with the experimental results, the computed drag forces were comparable but expectedly lower than the experimental data mainly attributable to the differences between the present model and the actual car.

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