Simulation work proving Gen3 a greater racing product
Repco Supercars Championship
By James Pavey
Ongoing simulation work has shown Gen3-specifiation cars should be able to follow more closely than current generation cars.
One of the key tenets of the Gen3 project has been to improve the quality of the racing.
Dirty air and aerowash caused by high downforce levels have contributed to a decrease in drivers being able to follow closely in recent years.
It is predicted a reduction in downforce will allow cars to follow each other more closely with the aim to provide greater chances of overtaking.
Earlier this year, it was confirmed UK-based engineering group D2H Advanced Technologies had begun to work with Supercars on its Gen3 program.
D2H produces accurate simulations through the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess said parity remains the focus, despite a loose number on how much downforce will be dropped.
“One of the key differences between the Gen2 and Gen3 cars will be the significant drop in downforce levels,” he told Supercars.com.
'We're hoping that the cars will be able to get closer to each other'
“When we say significant, it’ll be in the order of between 60 to 70 per cent.
“The actual final percentage reduction isn’t the important thing to us. What is important is that we finish with the correct amount of drag on the cars and whatever the downforce level ends at, is paritised correctly between the makes.
“We don’t mind if we end up at 135kg or 140kg for example when we are dropping from circ 450kg.
“We do have a fixed number of drag that we would like to achieve.”
A number of circuits on the 2021 calendar, such as Bathurst’s Mount Panorama, The Bend Motorsport Park and the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, feature straights and long-radius corners.
Burgess explained that simulations in CFD between Gen2 and Gen3-specifiation cars have so far shown the latter enables following to be easier.
“Part of Gen3 aero study we’ve been doing with D2H in the UK, has been a lot of simulation work with car-following-car studies,” he explained.
“We’ve run the Gen2 cars in CFD in line to each other, from one metre apart, three meters apart, five metres apart, and we’ve measured the effects on the downforce and drag levels on the second car.
“Then we’ve put the Gen3 car line astern in the same conditions, and measured the downforce and drag lost on the second car again. But more specifically, the change in aero balance front to rear compared to the Gen 2 car.
“At the moment, while it’s only in CFD, the results are showing how the effect on the second car is far less in Gen3 mode than it is in Gen2 mode.
“Whilst the proof will be in the pudding, and when the cars go racing, we’re hoping that the cars will be able to get closer to each other, and drivers will be able to fight each other and follow through high-speed corners.”