Date of Award
Union College Only
Bachelor of Science
Purpose-built racing cars have been created since the late 1800s and have evolved into some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the planet today. The motorsports industry is highly competitive with each class of racing having its own set of aerodynamic regulations. Competition teams must adhere to the prescribed regulations, and teams are often secretive about their methods of design to give their cars an edge over their competitors. Some racing series have large budgets with teams exceeding 400 million dollars a year in spending to design the fastest car. This level of spending leads to some incredibly high-performance machines that are optimized around the regulations. Formula One racing (F1) dates back to the 1950s and is often considered to be the most prestigious form of racing. F1 cars have changed drastically since the start of the sport. Today, they have wings protruding from many surfaces, and they have open wheels. These cars have purpose-built engines creating over 1,000 horsepower that exceed 50% thermal efficiency which is staggering when compared to the 25% efficiency of a standard production car engine. This paper focuses primarily on the application of aerodynamics to F1 as it is the most technologically advanced series with a long history of developments to explore.
Burns, Andrew, "Motorsports Aerodynamics: Case Study on Effects of Gurney Flaps" (2022). Honors Theses. 2649.