Why does the Mustang GTD have an aerodynamic advantage that most race cars don’t?

2023-09-15 08:50:54

When the first Mustang GTD takes on the Nürburgring’s 73 corners, it will aim to achieve a sub-7 minute time thanks to active aerodynamic technology never before used on a street-legal Ford car and illegal on GT3-class racing cars.

The heart of the Mustang GTD’s aerodynamic performance is its drag reduction system, which uses a hydraulic system that can change the angle of the rear wing and activate flaps under the front of the car to find exactly the right balance between airflow. for speed and downforce for grip. , depending on performance conditions.

“Every surface, body opening and vent on and under the body of the Mustang GTD is functional,” said Greg Goodall, Mustang GTD chief program engineer. “Some of the air is directed to cooling, another to aerodynamics and downforce. All to help GTD go faster or stay on the pavement no matter the conditions.”

When the Mustang GTD tackles tight corners and grip becomes more important than speed, DRS closes the main wing element and flap to create an integrated aerofoil to generate additional downforce at the rear of the vehicle, to help the GTD to go faster in corners without losing grip.

At the same time, the front underbody is keel-shaped which helps evacuate incoming air through the front wheel wells and large fender vents to create a lower pressure area that acts as suction to help maintain Stable front end when cornering.

“We actively manage where the center of air pressure is in the vehicle, so the front and rear can remain balanced,” Goodall said. “The ability to do this is not permitted in racing, where the rules do not allow for actively managing airflow.”

Under normal street driving conditions, the bodywork allows everyday elements such as speed bumps to be eliminated. When maximum track performance is required, the Mustang GTD’s suspension can lower the body by 40 mm, helping to further improve airflow over and around the body.

The Mustang GTD team continues to refine the supercar’s aerodynamics through thousands of hours of virtual airflow simulation on powerful computers and time testing on demanding circuits from Road Atlanta to Spa in Belgium.

“Our Le Mans drivers would love to have the technology that the Mustang GTD has for the track and the street,” Goodall said.

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