Triple Eight 'embraced' CFD upskill for ZB

  • 06/02/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Triple Eight embraced Computational Fluid Dynamics for the development of its new ZB Commodore – the first Supercar designed by the team without Ludo Lacroix.

The Queensland-based squad has been responsible for the entire ZB package after collaborating with former factory squad Walkinshaw Racing on the preceeding VF.

Lacroix designed the aero on the VF and VFII – as he did for the BF and FG Falcons before them – but left Triple Eight for Shell V-Power Racing as the ZB project was starting.

Triple Eight hired another aero specialist, ex-AMG designer Florian Hofflin, to lead the new project alongside Whincup’s right-hand man David Cauchi.

Team owner Roland Dane says that the team met the challenges presented by the hatchback shape of the new Commodore with the assistance of CFD.

“You try and embrace all of the experience you’ve got across the key people in the business, across Supercars and other categories - I’ve been working in touring cars at this level for over 20 years,” Dane told Supercars.com.

"But the world has also changed in that when we last did a car from scratch it was with the FG in ’08, we were allowed to use wind tunnels then and we ran a big wind tunnel model program.

“Now we’re not, but on the other hand the Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD, side of the sport and the industry as a whole - it’s much wider than motorsport, obviously - has come on enormously over the last decade.

“We’ve embraced CFD, we’ve upscaled ourselves in terms of our skills in that area hugely over the last 18 months and operate at a completely different level.

“So we’ve tried to embrace our experience and the tools you can use these days to, hopefully, come up with the answers.”

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The ZB has completed two track tests, either side of having its aero package homologated with airfield running in rural Victoria in December.

While acknowledging until the ZB visits "three or four different racetracks, you don’t ultimately know what you’ve got", Dane says Triple Eight has “tried to change the balance a bit” based on what it learned with the VF.

“We’ve tried to put that knowledge to good use and tweak and hopefully that’s one we’ve done,” he said.

“[To] probably make the car a little bit less sensitive, frankly. Some of the drivers felt it was pretty sensitive to pitch change, not only our drivers but other drivers.

“But the biggest challenge with the Holden guys and our team is working on making a car which is a hatchback into something which aerodynamically performs at the level of the old VF.

“That’s meant a very big study on the back of the car and a very different outcome in terms of the rear wing.”

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