Triple Eight Race Engineering has detailed how the UK-based Wirth Research company has had a significant hand in the development of the new Holden Commodore Supercar.
Teams at both T8's Brisbane headquarters and Wirth's base in England have been working together for the last year to shape the ZB Commodore's aero through the use of computational fluid dynamics, marking the first time the technology has played such a big development role in Supercars.
The project has been led by David Cauchi at the Australian end, and Wirth's Race Car Programs Manager Robin Gearing in England, with weekly video conferences helping bridge hurdles such as time differences and sheer distance.
While the ZB aero has now been signed off, Wirth will continue to work with the team as it looks to revise the new bodywork to accomodate the twin-turbo engine, which is set to debut later this year.
“Our relationship with Wirth Research has proved to be an invaluable aspect of the all-new Commodore development and has brought us industry-leading levels of expertise,” said T8 boss Roland Dane.
“With unrivalled experience across multiple motorsport categories, as well as world-class facilities, Nick [Wirth] and his team have been a natural fit for Triple Eight. Geographical factors, such as the time difference between Brisbane and the UK, haven’t been an issue at all and Wirth Research’s support has gone above and beyond expectations.
“We’ve built a strong relationship with all involved and we look forward to continuing our work with Wirth this year and hopefully into the future.”
Wirth Research founder Nick Wirth has a long history in motorsport, first working for March before starting the Simtek Grand Prix team in the early 1990s.
More recently Wirth Research endured a controversial stint with the Manor/Virgin F1 squad, resulting in a quick pre-season re-design of the CFD-designed VR-01 in 2010 after it was discovered the fuel tank wasn't big enough to last a Grand Prix distance.
Elsewhere in the motor racing world Wirth has worked with Andretti Autosport on both its IndyCar and Formula E programmes, built Acura's LMP prototypes, and has recently flirted with the idea of building its own LMP1 challenger.