William Kimberley, Editor of Race Tech Magazine, reports on an experiment to discover the usefulness of simulation in Late Model Dirt racing.
BIG GAINS WITHOUT A BIG BUDGET
For years, top tier race teams have used various levels of simulation tools to help improve their racing programmes. From basic kinematics programmes through driver-in-the-loop motion platform simulators, these mathematical representations of their racecars have helped teams develop setups, design vehicles and optimise their performance.
Often, in levels of racing with budgets smaller than those in Formula 1, NASCAR, the World Rally Championship and IndyCar, team members are thirsty for knowledge and understanding but struggle to find high-quality simulation tools to quench that thirst.
Dirt Late Models are one type of racecar that fall into this category. While many of the teams have sizeable budgets, they are lower than that required to invest fully in an engineering group like those utilised in the ‘big budget’ forms of racing.
As a case study, a multi-body vehicle dynamics model of a Late Model Dirt car and related set of simulations were created to explore the level of usefulness of simulation to a few select teams. This set of simulation tools was built in Dymola, using the VeSyMA suite of Libraries from Claytex. The Dymola models were then encapsulated into an excel spreadsheet providing the team members with access to a familiar set of parameters and results to help them quickly assess the effect of changes. Once the basic model and Excel sheet was built, a few issues quickly became apparent. Read more
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