Motor vehicle racing is usually supported by advanced engineering technologies considering every attempt to improve the performance of the car. A major objective of the engineering support is to enhance the handling and safety of race cars. The normal force on every tire has important effects on the handling properties, longitudinal dynamic and the safety of vehicle. Therefore, developing technologies to control and adjust these forces is highly desirable. The capability of active aerodynamic system to compensate the overall downward force of the vehicle has been widely published in literature. This paper shows the effectiveness of an actively controlled aerodynamic system to improve the handling and safety of a small-size race car in a lane-change maneuver and driving on wet roads. The analyses of a nonlinear vehicle model with active aerodynamic system, the controller structure and the control law have been presented. Computer simulations were carried out to verify the model and evaluate the performance of the control system.

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