Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lip Service

Xmas is over, and I've begun my winter mods. Starting with the cheap and relatively easy stuff, I made the car 2 inches longer by moving the splitter forward. Previously it stuck out a measely 2.5 inches and had only been applied for the purpose of protecting my clam shell from cones.  It did a fair job of that, allowing a couple cracks but fending off major damage.

From an aerodynamic perspective, the splitter was far from optimized. Air was leaking between it and the car and the front edge protruded significantly less than allowed by the rules. Furthermore I've been running with the license plate attached across the struts supporting the front. Both that and the air leak interfere with the creation of a pool of high pressure air in front of the car which is what creates the down force.  The new configuration should be a tad more protective in addition to providing more front down force.

I also added some foam to keep the air from flowing between the car and the splitter.

The paperclip corners required an extension...

And for those of you wondering about my mounting system, the basic idea was to not attach it to the (fragile & expensive) fiberglass clam shell. Instead I used Aluminum angle to bracket it onto hardpoints.

And the front is connected to the tow hook hard point.

So with an additional 2" of down force perhaps I can return to using my wing at full height and not get significant under-steer. With the corners already poking past the base of the car I've pushed this splitter as far forward as possible, so if I need to go out to the full 6" allowed by the rules, I'll probably be making my own out of plywood...