Highcroft's Deltawing *Update: granted ALMS 2013 full entry! *

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Hun200kmh, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    I guess by now all forum regulars here know that Highcroft parted ways with HPD, therefore closing up in some garage the car that came second overall in this years' 12 hours of Sebring and was therefore the most credible "petrol" challenger to the might of the Le Mans diesels of Audi and Peugeot.

    And I also guess all regulars know too what Highcroft announced during this edition of the "LM 24": That, together with Dan Gurney's AAR, Don Panoz (in a consulting role) and the Deltawing creators, they would field a DeltaWing car at Le Mans next year, under the #56 garage program set by the ACO.

    The "car" (for lack of a better word :sly: ) was originally born as one of the candidates to the future specs of Indy Car racing, and back then it looked like this:

    [​IMG]


    But the powers that be at IRL turned it down. So, this "project" resurfaced now, with a double cockpit Le Mans style, headlights and front wheels covered (among other less obvious differences). It now looks like this:


    [​IMG]


    As already discussed in this forum, what most fans can't understand, when looking at the pictures displayed (and even the CG videos posted), is how will this car be able to simply turn into medium to tight corners, or how will it cope with the need of sudden direction changes. We all look and we all "see" the same problems. narrow tyres ... narrow front ... how will load act, if at all, to make this car balanced? And what grip can those skinny tyres possibly produce?

    So we all tend to think this concept is a disaster, an understeering disaster.

    But ... is it really? Are all the guys behind this totally nuts???? Something is odd and we have to consider the chance that maybe, just maybe, we are mistaken.

    Anyway, past this introduction, I have just read and re-read a Q&A about this car. Highcroft, ever the most communicative and fan-friendly professional racing team I have ever known, asked fans to ask them whatever they wanted. And selected 10 questions, providing the answers. You may find it HERE but I'll quote it anyway for this thread's use:



    Ok, I have a problem with replies to questions 4 and 5. First, I don't understand how having litle weight at the front makes the car need only a small contact patch to turn. Doesn't downforce "create" weight anyway? Doesn't less weight mean the opposite of what they reply, meaning, the need for a greater "patch" of contact with the road?

    Second, and specifically about the reply to question 5, my problem is double: 1) I'm no enginier; 2) I'm not an English native speaker. So ... I just don't understand that reply properly, could anyone more knowledgeable both in engineering and in English help me out? :)


    Note - I think this specific car and its entrance at Le Mans next year deserves its own thread in this forum, under the "Sports Cars " tag. If mods think otherwise, than please merge this with whatever other thread you think appropriate. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  2. Jimlaad43

    Jimlaad43 Premium

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  3. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    Firstly...its no sportscar and doesn't deserve to be at Le Mans ahead of the GreenGT and that other electic LMP (forgot its name, Creation something or other).

    As to your understanding of question 5's reply. The 'level' effect they're talking about is because the front wheels are very narrow whilst the rear is wider its almost like the car is 'hinged' at the rear and will turn like a door handle operates for lack of a better example, the end you push on is the front of the car whilst the rear is the hinged end.
     
  4. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    I know that video Jimlaad, I was thinking about it when I mentioned the video simulations. Still, we don't know how reality will reproduce that :)

    EDIT - Thanks MitchZ06. So, if I understood you correctly, the fact that in a straight line, the front wheels, despite being two, are both "inside" the rear wheels longitudinal position, makes the car easier to turn and works against a possible understeering effect due to the litle contact patch they create? Is it the almost "triangle" that the wheels design that is dinamically responsible for the grip?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  5. freight48

    freight48 Premium

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    What, may I ask, makes it not a sports car?
     
  6. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Picture isn't showing up
     
  7. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I think this is still going to be one of those "I'll believe it when I see it" things. It still all sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, but we shall see I guess.

    I know that many of the people involved are not idiots, but equally anyone can make mistakes. I think it takes more than simulations and reputable personnel to really convince me on this one.

    The physics are still a little vague to me, I still don't think they have adequately answered how it all works. I'd love for some longer-winded explanations of the car with diagrams.

    I'm glad they didn't ruin a whole race series (IndyCar - though its pretty ruined already) with this little experiment, so I really wish them luck this way because if it all turns pear-shaped, Le Mans still runs as normal and everyone moves on, no harm done. Though I'm not really sure I like the prospect of racing cars looking like upside-down jet fighter boats in the future.
     
  8. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    I just don't see how that configuration will work.

    The front wheels being so close together are an accident waiting to happen. Unless the car creates enough downforce to keep the outer rear wheel planted while turning, the car will have a high risk of rolling over.
     
  9. Durandal7

    Durandal7

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    For those having trouble visualizing how this car will turn front tires so small, try this little experiment in GT5(and yes, I know it's not perfect, but it's probably about the best one can do with GT5):

    1. Get a stock Caterham.
    2. Upgrade power to max.
    3. Use ballast to add 200kg.(position 0 for now)
    4. Install racing soft tires on the rear, and sports hard tires on the front.
    5. Do some laps in the car to see how it feels, set a good fast lap.(I used the Top Gear Test Track, but almost any track should work)
    6. Move the ballast all the way to the rear of the car.
    7. Go back and do some more laps and then see how much easier it is to turn and drive quickly.
     
  10. Peter.

    Peter.

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    This car has had a lot of hate by people. It's a good, innovative car, and i'd much prefer to see it run over something like the 918 RSR Hybrid, or any GreenGT.
     
  11. Jim Prower

    Jim Prower Premium

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    Is there a working chassis yet? You're going to show that it does handle well? then prove it.
     
  12. Peter.

    Peter.

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    Maybe by the end of this year, or beginning of next year, they will start to do some testing.
     
  13. Paul2448

    Paul2448

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    I just hope the car can finish the race. It should be fast, and may be able to contend for the win.
     
  14. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    Won't happen. Audi and Peugeot will make sure its only as fast as the LMP2 cars you can count on that.
     
  15. Peter.

    Peter.

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    And how will they do that?

    This car could seriously contend for victory. It's small engine and low power output, plus super low drag makes it very efficient and maybe very reliable. If they can lap 3:30, and do about half the pitstops Audi and Peugeot do, it'll win.
     
  16. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    Its easy, they bitch to the ACO that some car that really shouldn't be racing at Le Mans with absolutely no relevance to a road car should not be able to compete with their cubic euros and go for the overall win. The ACO says fine we'll restrict it as much as we can and impose waivers on it and you guys can keep your overall win battle. Simple.
     
  17. Peter.

    Peter.

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    I seriously doubt the ACO can do anything about it, as the DeltaWing is running in the experimental slot, so is basically in a class of its own.
     
  18. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    A class the ACO created....it won't be competing for the overall win and thats that, the Peugeot and to a lesser extent Audi influence on the ACO will make sure that this thing is made sure of that it won't win Le Mans outright.
     
  19. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    @ Peter, I have to agree with MitchZ06 here, like any other group in racing especially those who fall under the FIA. The bigger teams tend to complain, Audi is less likely to do so but I wouldn't doubt Peugot. Any car that would beat these two giants would upset the bigger teams that pour tons of money and investments into the series and this one race. Also could you explain this little tid bit better to me please
    The last part about the 918 RSR that is sorry for not being clear
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  20. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    I'd rather see the 918 RSR racing against the GTE's than this phallus.
     
  21. Northstar

    Northstar Premium

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    I doubted the car will perform as well as they say when it was possibly the new IndyCar chassis and I doubt they will now as an LMP.

    I'm still waiting to see a real prototype as you can't tell anything from computer animations and can't rely on computers to do all the work(just ask Virgin).
     
  22. Peter.

    Peter.

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    I've heard people say that the 918 Hybrid should be the car to take the experimental slot, which I disagree with, because I think the DeltaWing is far more interesting to see race, as it's, in my eyes, a far more iconic and innovative car, and i'm far more curious about how this car will fare in the 24 hours.


    Virgin is an odd example for that. CFD wasn't their problem. They just didn't have a very talented design team, nor the money to really progress well. If anything, CFD helped them to run on their low budget, as it was a cheaper means in designing and building a car rather than the use of windtunnels.
     
  23. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Okay for the first part I don't agree, and I'm not sure you know why it is being put into the experimental section. Secondly you're wrong CFD wasn't helpful all that much to Virgin hence why Nick Wirth was fired and replaced with William team personnel. Also Virgin saw and realized the only growth would be to gain wind tunnel testing so that is why they've now joined up with McLaren F1. Nick Wirth isn't untalented or he wouldn't have been hired to design IZOD indy cars. It's known that Richard Branson has never poured too much money into the team and it's been more based on other sponsor's and Marussia taking over most of the stakes for the team now. A wind tunnel and help from bigger teams like McLaren in the only way they'll be a success. For you to use that argument for CFD is quite funny seeing how that was exactly the reason Nick Wirth was fired and how Virgin is still the last place team with the lower budget HRT beating them, and Lotus as well. Lotus and Virgin have the same amount of money to spend a season HRT the lowest and Virgin can't pull it together due to lack of testing tools and only using CFD.
     
  24. Peter.

    Peter.

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    The reason the MVR-02 wasn't much of a big step was because it was designed on the old facilities that Wirth had, before they could move over to the brand new, far more advanced supercomputers at Wirth's new base.

    CFD was the only way Virgin would be able to operate on their very low budget. It is Virgin's choice and not Branson's to be running on this low of a budget. I find it rather foolish of Virgin to have dropped CFD completely. CFD was a decent approach, which had potential to replace windtunnels in the future. Sure, it's better to use windtunnels etc., but every team uses both CFD and windtunnels to design cars. They could have implemented both, that would have been a better alternative.

    As for why they switched, I believe it was somewhat because CFD can't be developed quickly enough by a small team for it to be successful enough over conventional windtunnels. Nothing wrong with CFD, it's not why Virgin sucks.
     
  25. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    I'd suggest you go over to F1 Fanatic and read the proper articles there. The new facilities were built for Nick Wirth and he had time to work in them. They never said they were going to drop CFD all together they just dont plan to use it on such a large scale, I'm guessing the new testing will use not only wind tunnel but actual scale model cars like Red Bull does and other big teams to test aero parts. Many big teams have said CFD doesn't fully take in all variables on the track. Also you failed to answer how two teams of lesser and equal money are able to beat Virgin's third biggest CFD in the world. CFD is a good tool but not the end all end all. And that is the same for this Deltawing, it is a great idea but trusting CFD alone will not help at the end of they day. There is a reason Audi and Peugot break there old records year after year and it isn't just some CFD.
     
  26. Peter.

    Peter.

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    CFD is vital in the design of a car nowadays, and CFD has its limitations, just as windtunnels have their limitations. CFD is limited by the power of the computer and our human understanding of aerodynamics. Windtunnels are in very control environments and won't tell you how the air moves around the car apart from in a straight line. With more developement over time, CFD could replace windtunnels, but Virgin has neither time nor money to facilitate the growth of CFD.

    And, suprisingly, Virgin has the lowest budget on the grid at the moment. Team Lotus' budget was already in excess of $50 million, and with the big sponsorship recently from General Electrics and Dell, now have a budget that's in excess of $100 million. Even HRT has a bigger budget than Virgin at the moment, in excess of $50 million, which is subject to grow in the coming months and years. Virgin is sitting around at around $40 million, and with a budget that low, CFD is their only way of properly surviving.
     
  27. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    First off how is CFD their only way to survive...maybe you missed it but McLaren is sharing their wind tunnel with Virgin. The announcement came out last week so this idea that they're some feable team that can only make it on 40 million isn't true. Furthermore, I don't know what if it's Euro, pounds or dollars- before you answer it's not dollars - some clarification would be nice? Also that budget was last years when they were actually coming in as the lowest team (which then turned out to be HRT) but this year the lowest budget is HRT coming in barely at 45million EUR. Which could have been false and was possibly lower considering Thesian bank bought them out also last week. So to know how much HRT's budget is now is impossible unless you're a chairmen at Thesian because they haven't said yet. This would also show why HRT missed most of winter testing and didn't qualify for Australia even after Bahrain was canceled. Virgin are not that weak they have probably one of the most developed CFD out there, they don't have other tools however that could have put their car far more out there than HRT and on the heels of Lotus. I'd like to know where you go your numbers from? Cause these numbers you've given seem far more then what was shown at the start of this year, also just cause a sponsor has certain capital doesn't mean that is what has been put into the team. Truth is yes CFD is a good tool I'm not doubting that it is great for many applications in todays world, but CFD only gives scenario for straightline speed in F1, in the end it comes down to more real world test like wind tunnels, real world simulation chambers, air strips and so forth. Anyways just like Virgin the Delta Wing seems to be a car addicted to CFD, but I wouldn't knock it too much yet seeing as it is Highcroft who's working on/with it
     
  28. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    This is boring single seater spec racing discussion thread is it?

    On topic, I'm seriously hoping this thing miserably fails and we see the GreenGT or Creation sparky show up in its place. Sorry Highcroft...
     
  29. LMSCorvetteGT2

    LMSCorvetteGT2

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    Once again I have to agree with MitchZ06 I really dont want to see this goofy thing make any race podium much less track time. I do however think that highcroft know something we don't obviously or on the reverse they could just be willing to try anything to beat Peugot and Audi. They should have stuck with what they had which was a great challenger car and I think would have had an amazing Le Mans debut but was given up on too soon.
     
  30. MitchZ06

    MitchZ06 (Banned)

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    They'd have been better off getting the Wirth LMP1 coupe funded and find a sponsor to get it racing at Le Mans (with their HPD LMP1 getting them in) because quite frankly it would have given them the best chance of any privateer to beat the big 2, but hey, when a bunch of investors come to you and you're just sitting on your hands with no racing program what would you do?