Reverse engineering helps racing dominance

Carlin Motorsport was able to scan in its latest F3 race car, and quickly build a wind tunnel model that allowed it to modify aerodynamic components and add new ones to enable it to finish first, second and third in the 2008 British F3 International Series and become British F3 champions in 2008

. Their trio of drivers took the team to five 1-2-3 finishes in the British F3 championship this season and 14 wins.

The race car was supplied by Dallara Automobili in Italy, a PTC CAD customer since 1993, and was laser scanned by Tim Rapley of Physical Digital, based in Guildford, who scanned the car and produced the point cloud data. Using Pro/Engineer, Carlin was able to lay surfaces over the cloud of points to recreate the contours of the car within very tight tolerances. The monocoques could then be replicated in less than four days, rather than the four weeks it took before using other CAD software.

Carlin Motorsport was founded in 1996 by Trevor Carlin and Martin Stone. In 2007, they bought the former Brabham F1 factory at Chessington, Surrey, which houses the 1:3 scale wind tunnel.

Author
Tom Shelley

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