“2022 will see huge changes in NASCAR, with the launch of the Next Generation racecar. Simulation specialist, Claytex, has responded quickly to create and test models that will enable teams to be competitive.“
Project Engineers at Claytex were interviewed for the May 2020 issue of the ‘Vehicle Dynamics International’ magazine discussing ‘NASCAR simulation’ in 2022.
In 2022, NASCAR tradition will be broken. Gone will be the hallmark live ‘truck arm’ rear axle with Panhard rod, derived from a pickup truck. Gone will be the dual front A-arms with split spring and damper actuation, originally inspired by a 1966 Chevelle. Five-stud 15in steel wheels? Gone too. Also out is the pitman-arm steering system, the H-pattern gearbox and the Detroit Locker differential. With the arrival of front/rear independent double-wishbone suspensions, rack-and-pinion steering, sequential gearboxes, centre-lock 18in alloy wheels and limited slip differentials, teams are being thrown a major curveball.
Despite facing a paradigm shift in terms of technology with the seemingly infinite ways of configuring the new vehicles, teams inevitably still try to seek an advantage over their competition. Simulation of the relative unknown presents an opportunity to steal a march over the competition and hit the ground running. Gaining an understanding of the new cars’ characteristics and foibles before taking delivery of their first vehicles will vastly shorten a team’s time spent getting to grips with unknowns, with precious track testing time devoted to finding speed rather than curing ill handling.
Whilst the ‘stock’ in stock car racing is still somewhat of a misnomer, motorsport can still improve road cars. Reacting to changes and developing new simulation tools around a new vehicle design is a challenge that is common between the racing world and the automotive world.
It was clear from the outset that the suspension style that NASCAR had decided upon was novel, and bespoke simulation models would have to be created: specifically, the front anti-roll bar mounts onto the upper control arm, and similarly the rear toe-link inboard mount connects to the upper control arm.
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