stafford1500 Dork
2/4/20 9:13 a.m.

Story by Steve Stafford • Photography as Credited

The area of aerodynamics poses problems for amateurs and professionals alike. You can’t see the air you are trying to work with, and that air doesn’t react linearly. As a full-time aero engineer–you’ve likely seen my work at places like Daytona, Sebring and Talladega–I have five items that get under my skin when discussing operation aerodynamics.

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sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
2/4/20 9:52 a.m.

I reckon this ended up in 'GRM' thanks to the 'article posting system'.  So, if no one has an objection, I'm going to move it to the Aero sub-forum.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
2/4/20 10:34 a.m.

No need, this was entirely intentional. We thought this was an interesting bit from our December issue, and we wanted to make sure it got shared with the rest of the class.

With that being said, everyone who is reading this should check out the Aero sub-forum. It has some great information there.

buzzboy HalfDork
2/4/20 11:36 a.m.

So what I'm understanding is that I need a big wing mounted high up in clean air and midship as well as big, balanced, front and rear aero?

wspohn Dork
2/5/20 1:11 p.m.

It always made me laugh to see other cars in my production class at the track sticking on angled spoilers that did nothing except to slightly reduce top speed, given the modest power output of the cars.

My approach (subsequently outlawed by the organizers) was to add a vertical air dam that excluded air from going under the car. They made the mistake of not specifying a minimum ground clearance, no doubt figuring that it would be self governing as people went too low and had their air dam ground off under braking.  But I made the last few inches of dam out of flexible conveyor belt material, allowing me a basically zero clearance at rest height and the flexible lip only needed to be replaced about once a season. And it worked - an additional 4-500 rpm at the end of a long straight. Also helped keep the gravel off the track. But it wasn't legal the next season.

buzzboy HalfDork
2/5/20 3:29 p.m.

I've wondered, would using broom head material work? It could just touch the ground but bend away from damage.

Shaun Dork
3/15/20 8:53 p.m.

In reply to buzzboy :

IIRC There was a can am car I saw run at Riverside when I was a kid that had bristle broom skirts and an extractor fan.   A white car #44 something to do with the name Jim Hall.  Thats what I remember.  I'll go search the interwebs and see how my brain is holding up.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/15/20 9:12 p.m.

In reply to Shaun :

Chaparral 2J.

NOT A TA SuperDork
3/15/20 9:45 p.m.



Cactus Reader
3/15/20 11:00 p.m.

Were they broom skirts? I know F1 side skirts were sacrificial elements, but they were solid, and not brooms.

buzzboy Dork
3/15/20 11:20 p.m.

I always thought the chaparral used solid skirts.

slantvaliant UltraDork
3/16/20 8:14 a.m.
buzzboy said:

I always thought the chaparral used solid skirts.


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/16/20 8:34 a.m.

And the $2000 Challenge version: the  Cheaperal

03Panther Reader
3/16/20 7:27 p.m.

Great article. Aero is one discipline where most engineers I've met DO know more than me... but that's more an example of how little I know 'bout Aerodynamics!

I've had "degreed" mechanical engineers tell mt their new V nose trailer gets better mileage and is easier to tow... They tend to get mad at me whin I point out that NASA's wind tunnel tests don't agree.

NOT A TA SuperDork
3/16/20 8:29 p.m.
Cactus said:

Were they broom skirts? I know F1 side skirts were sacrificial elements, but they were solid, and not brooms.

IIRC there were two rows of broom skirts in the front.

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