The development of the highly-anticipated next-generation Commodore Supercar employed state-of-the-art engineering technologies in the pursuit of the optimum touring car aerodynamic package. The team charged with the design and build of the newest Holden racer, Triple Eight Race Engineering, has confirmed that internationally-acclaimed aerodynamics consultancy Wirth Research has been working with them for over a year.
Triple Eight recruited the UK-based company to collaborate on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) development of the next-gen Commodore, and provide computing power not available in Australia. CFD is now used in all forms of world-class motorsport development but has never before been applied to this level in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The decision to employ Wirth Research’s expertise was an easy one for Triple Eight. At the centre of the operation is a highly experienced and skilled team of motorsport aerodynamicists, led by President and Technical Director Nick Wirth, that has worked across multiple formulae of racing, as well as industry sectors outside motorsport.
Triple Eight Managing Director Roland Dane has been extremely happy with the success of the collaboration over the course of the past year.
“Our relationship with Wirth Research has proved to be an invaluable aspect of the next-gen Commodore development and has brought us industry-leading levels of expertise,” he said.
“With unrivalled experience across multiple motorsport categories, as well as world-class facilities, Nick and his team have been a natural fit for Triple Eight. Geographical factors, such as the time difference between Brisbane and the UK, haven’t been an issue at all and Wirth Research’s support has gone above and beyond expectations.
“We’ve built a strong relationship with all involved and we look forward to continuing our work with Wirth this year and hopefully into the future.”
Since the collaboration came to fruition in January 2017, the project has been led by Triple Eight Head Designer David Cauchi and Wirth Research’s Race Car Programs Manager, Robin Gearing. The close working relationship continues throughout 2018 in preparation for the introduction of the V6 twin-turbocharged engine in 2019 for which aerodynamic modifications will be required.
Weekly video conference consultations have been at the heart of the development program, with Wirth Research’s Sportscar Chief Engineer, Baptiste Rossi, providing first-hand expertise when he travelled to Australia to attend Triple Eight’s first run of the next-gen Commodore in September last year and again for the first complete aero test in November.
Nick Wirth has been delighted with the Triple Eight partnership and the next-generation Commodore Supercar development.
“We’re very proud of our collaboration with Roland and the Triple Eight team. The application of our advanced CFD design capabilities is a first for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship and we’re excited with the results for the next-gen Commodore Supercar.
“We very much look forward to building on the strong, collaborative relationship we have established with Triple Eight in the future.”
The next-gen Holden Commodore makes its competitive debut in the Supercars Championship at the Adelaide 500, 1-4 March, where it’s expected that 14 of them will line up on the grid.
Wirth Research is a UK design technology, engineering and CFD consultancy led by founder Nick Wirth. Originally focused on championship-winning international race car engineering, Wirth Research has developed to apply its motorsport mind set and advanced CFD capabilities to innovations across multiple industry sectors including aerospace, architecture, automotive, commercial vehicle and retail refrigeration.
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