FIA contracts for Sportscar tests

8th July 2002...London based design engineering company, Piper International Design Group, was recently contracted by the FIA Foundation to undertake a comprehensive study of the aerodynamic stability of flat bottom Sportscars, following a number...

8th July 2002...London based design engineering company, Piper International Design Group, was recently contracted by the FIA Foundation to undertake a comprehensive study of the aerodynamic stability of flat bottom Sportscars, following a number of track incidents involving Sportscars leaving the ground and in some instances, overturning.

The research study concentrates on the overturning forces that the cars are subjected to, in a spin or high yaw and roll angle situation. Piper Design have been investigating the aerodynamic forces to enable to the FIA Foundation, in conjunction with the FIA, to consider, from a technically informed position, potential design changes which would improve the stability of Sportscars. This could include the introduction of additional aerodynamic devices within the Technical Regulations.

Piper Design has produced a generic 40% Open Prototype Sportscar wind tunnel model for the project, using its in-house model making facilities. A team of specialist design engineers is carrying out a wind tunnel test programme at the conveniently located London wind tunnel facilities used by Piper Design.

John Piper, Managing Director, Piper Design, says of the project, "We are proud to have been selected by the FIA Foundation to carry out this important piece of research. The project has given us an opportunity to use the key skills of our company within one of the most important areas -- safety - and we've been using much of the company's experience, expertise and facilities to carry out the work. Our preliminary report has been enthusiastically received by the current Sportscar teams, the FIA Foundation and the FIA, we are now undertaking further work as a result of the initial findings.

"We have been tasked to complete the next session of wind tunnel testing against the clock, so that it can be part of the decision making process on the new regulations for 2004, which requires World Council approval in August for publication in early September," adds Piper. "We know that we are able to respond to this challenge and look forward to delivering the results in due course. Piper Design is flattered to have such overwhelming support from the whole Sportscar pit lane as well as the FIA for the work that we are doing."

-pd-

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