Le Mans-based endurance race car designer, Onroak Automotive, recently secured famous victories in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship with its LMP2 prototype race cars, crowned with the championship title and third place achieved by the Russian G-Drive Racing team. The intense race season, which spans eight countries and more than 65 hours of competition, demands prolonged, optimum performance from both man and machine.
Onroak’s first closed-cockpit Le Mans prototype race car, the Ligier JS P2, premiered in 2014 and was fine-tuned and updated during its first season with the help of extensive simulation work from Onroak and Exa. To optimize the aerodynamic performance of the JS P2, Onroak performed a series of simulations with Exa’s PowerFLOW® software.
The simulations offered a multitude of time and cost efficient enhancements to the design of various exterior and interior components. Changes based on the CFD-findings contributed to faster average lap times, without modifying the engine. The adjustments also allowed for a more efficient running operation, without compromising performance – a vital quality in one of the most competitive endurance racing series around the globe.
Jacques Nicolet, President of Onroak Automotive, commented: "Our engineering department worked with Exa's engineers and their expertise in CFD have helped us reach the levels of performance and efficiency we are targeting with the use of this simulation-driven design technology.”
By running through thousands of malleable iterations, afforded by the simulation of transient airflow, Onroak was able to perceive exactly how the JS P2 would behave in differing real-world aerodynamic and thermal conditions on every race track on the calendar. Implementing minute changes all over the body of the car, a cumulative and noticeable improvement was made to its overall aerodynamic and thermal behavior.
The intricacy of the results that the simulations produced, and the modifications they deemed necessary, proved a worthwhile investment. Not only did G-Drive Racing finish first and third in the overall 2015 LMP2 WEC team rankings, but also four new teams have now chosen to race with the Onroak Ligier JS P2 in the 2016 season. And the victories have already started to roll in: on January 31st, Onroak Automotive became the first French constructor to win the Daytona 24 Hours when Speed Motorsports crossed the finishing line first with their Ligier JS P2-Honda at the legendary Daytona International Speedway circuit. This unprecedented result lays down the benchmark for what all at Onroak Automotive hope will be another successful year.
photo credit: Onroak Automotive