Testing Already Underway: Radon, GTP Hit the Windtunnel

October 12, 2009

F2000 Championship Series teams wasted no time to start offseason testing after the season finale at Mid-Ohio on August 16th. Two days later GTP Motorsports, Fiber Dynamics and Radon Sport spent the day in a wind tunnel in North Carolina with the #4 Van Diemen driven by series regular Chris Camadella.

Camadella and his teammates at GTP, including Masters Class champion Tom Fatur, in addition to the ADSA/Wright trio of Blake Teeter, Robert Wright and Al Guibord Jr. have all been experimenting with new aero tweaks supplied by Radon Sport in cooperation with Fiber Dynamics.

Radon Sport Technical Director Nathan Ulrich has been the man behind many of the aero developments in the paddock and was present at the wind tunnel test.

Ulrich commented: “We tested for most of the day in the tunnel and ran about 30 different aerodynamic configurations. We learned a lot about setup of our aero parts and plan to freely share that information.

“It's a lot of work to prepare a car and the various components for the tunnel, and you need a good team to make the changes quickly,” Ulrich commented

“Camadella provided his car and computer expertise. Glen Phillips oversaw car prep. Darrin Teeter of Fiber Dynamics helped arrange the test and made the new parts we tested. Blake Teeter was the test driver. Tim Minor lent us many of his aero components for comparison testing, and his engineer Eric Langbein was a big help during the test.

“We started this process by looking at the Van Diemen and began a major aero redesign,” said Ulrich.

“We have produced and test a new front wing package, diffuser, rear wing mount and lower main plane, plus a two element upper rear wing.”

Ulrich added: “A proper formula car aero development requires three components. CFD studies, wind tunnel testing and on-track verification. We scrambled the order a bit by doing the wind tunnel testing last.

“We found excellent correlation between our CFD results, on track testing, and wind tunnel runs. Our full new package provides a 12.5% improvement in aerodynamic performance over the stock Van Diemen aluminum wing package, which was the next best of the components we tried. This advantage is most pronounced at fast tracks like Watkins Glen.”

The season started out with new front wings at VIR, that were updated throughout the year. Eventually a new rear wing came along with a new diffuser. Barge boards were even seen during practice at Watkins Glen.

Ulrich admits there is more in the works, “We have designed a number of other parts for the Van Diemen, but haven’t yet decided if we will put them into production.”

Ulrich concluded: “We had two main goals for the test. One was to verify the performance of the parts we have developed for the Van Diemen. The second was to understand the characteristics of the current car and where we can make improvements. Both objectives were fully met.”