Analytical methods are presented to assess design parameters and aerodynamic effects on a road racing endurance car design. A six degree of freedom model of the vehicle dynamics was used to determine the design equations and objectives. Some of the more important parameters investigated were vehicle mass and inertia, aerodynamic drag and down force, rolling resistance, center of gravity, cornering capacity and braking performance. The effects of these parameters on the vehicle acceleration, velocity, and lap times were investigated analytically and verified by data obtained by on-board instrumentation. Given nearly identical engine performance from car to car, the aerodynamic parameters, drag and down force, were identified as having the greatest influence on racing endurance car performance. Modeling and vehicle test results are presented and correlated, which provided the basis of a relative closed-loop design process. Through this process, significant gains in performance were realized by identifying and optimizing the design parameters during the initial stages of the design.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Automobiles, Racing--Design and construction; Automobiles, Racing--Aerodynamics

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Hefner, Robert

Advisor/Committee Member

Torok, Joseph


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TL245 .K673 1990


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