Simulation Advances NASCAR Race Car Development

Racing teams are using D2H and Ansys to triple simulations and reduce physical testing.

Racing teams are using D2H and Ansys to triple simulations and reduce physical testing.

NASCAR racing teams are leveraging an automated simulation workflow created by D2H Advanced Technologies (D2H) and Ansys to improve high-performance stock cars. According to Ansys, the collaboration is streamlining the development and improving the aerodynamics of race cars by enabling teams to nearly eliminate wind tunnel testing.

With only one week to prepare between races, NASCAR racing teams have traditionally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on rigorous and time-consuming wind tunnel testing to advance their cars' aerodynamics. Using Ansys Fluent, race teams can improve production efficiency and cost savings by delivering aerodynamic models that enhance stock car performance.  

D2H and Ansys created an automated Fluent workflow that significantly reduces the need for wind tunnel testing. According to the company, this enables teams to produce 3x more designs without extra development time and resolve issues in hours instead of days.

“This cutting-edge workflow makes an incredible impact on our mutual customers' aerodynamic designs, with racing teams realizing heightened modeling fidelity and markedly faster run times,” said Noah McKay, engineering director at D2H. “Using this workflow, NASCAR teams overcome design issues sooner and maximize production efficiency within a tight developmental window, resulting in major performance advantages, which promises more track championships.”

“80% of the modeling process involves cleaning up 'dirty' geometry, in which an engineer must spend countless hours removing the extraneous components that aren't needed to run a simulation,” said Jason Pfeiffer, vice president at Rand Simulation, D2H's dedicated Ansys channel partner. “This automated workflow delivers a push-button solution that compresses the development process, helping engineers create designs faster to address challenging aerodynamic issues.”

Track surfaces, weather conditions and competition rules change weekly, generating complicated design issues to address. By nearly excluding wind tunnel testing from the developmental process, teams are more agile and more precise than ever.

“Our mutual NASCAR racing team customers require substantial speed of design and peak fidelity, which presents major obstacles for optimizing the design of high-performance stock cars,” said Shane Emswiler, senior vice president at Ansys. “By collaborating directly with D2H, our shared resources enable racing teams to pivot from costly and laborious wind tunnel testing to a customized, automated end-to-end workflow — delivering highly advanced race cars that can conquer the competition.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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