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Global Formula Racing

Thu, 11/29/2012 - 2:29pm
Terry Persun, Technology Journalist

Wing inserts on Formula One racecar helps to provide faster racing speeds.

Pic-1: Global Formula Racing teams from two countries competed worldwide with the only aerodynamic vehicle in the races. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) initiated Formula SAE in 1979, a program in which students design, build, and race an open wheeled, single-seated racecar. Within the program Global Formula Racing (GFR) emerged in 2010, a team in which students from Germany and the U.S. collaborate on the design and manufacture of a Formula racecar. GFR is the first global student program in the history of both the U.S.-based Formula SAE and the EU-based Formula Student programs.

The teams involved in the GFR were the former BA Racing Team of Duale Hochschule Baden-Wurttemberg-Ravensburg (DHBW-R) from Germany, and the Beaver Racing Team of Oregon State University (OSU) in the U.S. The universities share physical and intellectual resources through advanced communications technologies to design and build their highly competitive vehicle, one that is worth international recognition.

Both schools provide the design, manufacturing, and testing simultaneously. According to the teams, two cars will be made: a combustion car and a fully electric car. The OSU campus in Corvallis, OR will operate the combustion car in USA events, as well as Formula Student events in Europe, while the DHBW-R campus in Friedrichshafen, Baden-Wurttemberg will operate the electric car strictly in Formula Student competitions in Europe.

Pic-2 & 3: The front wing main plain inserts and front wing flap inserts were an important part of the GFR racecar’s overall design.

The GFR racecar is the only Aero car to compete in most races. When the team looked to decrease weight and wind resistance, they turned to Solid Concepts to help with the creation of aerodynamic end plates. These products were used as attachments that connected end-plates and profiles. It was important for the shape to be variable in design, so the team chose to use carbon fiber reinforced plastic material to fashion the parts. “The strength and structure of the material made it possible for us to have a strong connection between the carbon fiber end-plates and the carbon fiber profiles,” Michael Wax, the spokesperson for the team said. “This was especially necessary for the front wing, which would receive some high-impact hits due to cone contact.”

Pic-4 &5: Components for the rear wing main plain inserts and rear wing flap inserts were made by Solid Concepts of Valencia, CA.According to team members, Solid Concepts was key in helping them present their Aerodynamic package in an outstanding manner, which finally led to their most successful season of Global Formula Racing. According to a recent release from the GFR team, “The car roared through autocross, putting down impressive times of 58.890 and 56.830 seconds.” Despite not being able to complete all four runs, the team’s second time earned them first place and a 2.4 second gap to second place.

The team’s full aerodynamics package included the front and rear wings complemented by an undertray. According to Michael, “The aerodynamics helped to sustain a high cornering speed.” Furthermore, the aerodynamics package provided an average of two seconds per lap faster speeds over other teams in both Autocross and Endurance races. “We also earned numerous individual awards and trophies, including the best use of aerodynamics in Austria,” he said. 

The front wing main plain inserts and front wing flap inserts, as well as the rear wing main plain inserts and rear wing flap inserts were delivered as they would be used in the racecar. No secondary machining or fabrication work was necessary for them to work.

For information visit http://www.global-formula-racing.com/en/home  and http://www.SolidConcepts.com

Available videos:
Video of Oregon State GFR Aerodynamics Debut: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsORhnvc0Vc
GFR Albany Testing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb8YcCPQP5Q
GFR Official Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHJt1n62MA8
Additional videos: http://www.global-formula-racing.com/en/media

Author the Author

Terry Persun is a Technology Journalist, and holds a Bachelor’s of Science as well as an MA in Creative Writing. He has worked as an engineer as well as a marketing consultant. Six of his novels have been published. The latest is “Cathedral of Dreams”, a science fiction story of the near future.

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