Racing Ahead: Navigating Regulations and Complexity in Race Car Design

The ultimate goal of winning races requires a team of professionals to collaborate on the many complexities involved in race car design. The design and development involved are shaped by a meticulous understanding of regulations. In this blog we will delve into how simulation can help with design efficiency and time-to-market, enabling teams to achieve a greater advantage over their competitors.

The complicated nature of race car design

A race car’s design entails controlling complex elements, such as the chassis, engine, suspension, and bodywork, with the obvious goal of optimizing the vehicle’s performance. Not only that, but performance goals must be fulfilled in a timely manner whilst also guaranteeing the driver’s safety.

While bearing all the design elements in mind, teams also have strict regulations they must adhere to. One of the most important first steps in a race car’s design and development is understanding these regulations.

For example, aerodynamics is a crucial component of this process since, in addition to being one of the most significant performance variables, it also has other secondary effects, such as cooling the engine or brakes and improving driver comfort. For this reason, it is frequently the subject of extremely stringent and intricate technical requirements.

These regulations are essential for setting performance and safety goals because they have a direct impact on the entire development process by focusing attention and resources on achieving these standards. It’s an intensely motivated voyage that calls for unwavering commitment and precise engineering, with the goal of competing for triumph on the racetrack.

How Simulation can aid race win endeavours

The design of race cars has been completely transformed by simulation. In the past, performance was assessed through physical testing, which required a car, test components, a track, and driver availability. The process took a long time; manufacturers typically invested six to twelve months before bringing the first car to the track.

All these processes, however, can be carried out electronically using simulation and a virtual 3DEXPERIENCE twin of the vehicle. Driver-in-the-loop simulators have created new development opportunities by enabling the evaluation of changes on any track in the world. This has reduced the amount of time needed to design the race car and in turn allows for greater integration into the process.

Many details not considered before are now considered in complex models. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models have become increasingly complicated over time, opening up the possibility to consider a plethora of previously unreachable aspects.

Physical testing on tracks using real cars and parts was the standard in the past, but simulation has changed this procedure. For example, instead of taking days or weeks to solve, aerodynamic simulations are now 1000 times larger and may be completed in a couple of hours using simulation.

The design process has been completely changed by simulation, making it possible to identify the optimal performance of the car while guaranteeing driver safety in the little amount of time left before the first race.

Simulation is an essential tool in modern racing car design, which is shaped by an extensive grasp of regulations and sets the targets for performance and safety. It does this by directly linking the performance of a race car to the efficiency of the design process.

Aerodynamics, chassis design, engine design, and suspension are just a few of the complex elements that are optimized throughout the process to improve the car’s performance. As the fruition of all the labor that goes into creating race vehicles, winning races is the ultimate goal and the most satisfying part of the task. Using simulation to aid in the design and development of race cars can help make this goal a reality.

Find out more

Get in touch today to find out how simulation and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform can help revolutionize your processes and design capabilities.

You can also watch our on-demand webinar ‘Software & Technology for Motorsport: Abaqus Composite & Structural Optimisation’ to gain an understanding of the powerful methods available for optimising structures within Abaqus and learn how you can easily apply these methods to your own designs.