Splitter Aftermath

June 25, 2016

I thought it would be interesting to show the results of the problems I encountered with the new splitter at Imola. As posted earlier I had some serious chattering of the front splitter above 200km/h which was a bit disconcerting at those speeds.

The chattering was caused by the low stiffness of the front mounts which when air passed over the splitter at 200km/h it excited some natural frequency of the assembly, is what I’m guessing. Due to no straight passage to the frame I decided to mount the front supports directly to the bumper, which is clearly not stiff enough.

Luckily the splitter simply skimmed off the tarmac and didn’t decide to catch on to something, otherwise I would have been a pretty big explosion. Some scrapes under the splitter.

The front supports got battered pretty hard; I should probably go up in thickness. What I was very surprised by is the rear mounts; they bent backwards despite them being made out of 2mm steel which I thought would be more that sufficient for the location. Most likely they rearward force of the splitter hitting the ground caused them to bend.

Another interesting one are the canards which have bent downwards. These were never a problem, even at Monza I didn’t have any issues, but most likely this is again caused by the chattering of the splitter causing the entire bumper to rock up and down. The rocking in addition to the downforce obviously was too much for the brackets.

So the next move, as soon as the fuelling issue is sorted, is to address these issues and beef-up the entire mounting strategy, but it has been a great learning experience.


GD V2 – Part 4

December 24, 2015

Half of the engine crane has arrived and I can’t expect the rest of the parts until after Christmas, so I’m stuck carrying out other work on the car; the engine is going to have to wait. With most other areas of the car not really requiring a lot of attention I decided to work on a new splitter for the car.

This is obviously a very important component which can yield huge gains over the course of a lap. I have always tried to increase the frontal grip on the car by having the same size tires at the front as on the rear, wider front track and then the added front canards, but the car has always had a slight tendency to understeer in steady state. This behaviour can be a benefit as it allows you to push the car to the limit without being out of control, but with more grip and a more balanced setup I’m sure the times will come down. The splitter will be one step to increase the front and overall grip of the car; additionally I would like to fit extended lower ball joints at the front to increase my roll centre height as I currently experience too much camber change on the outer wheel.

Splitters have to be very stiff due to both their size and forces applied onto them, as usually there are large unsupported areas. In my eyes the splitter must also be made out of a material which is cheap and must be very easy to make. The reason for this is because I almost consider it to be a disposable component; one quick off in the gravel and it can be ripped off. I decided to go for a flat 15mm thick sheet of Ply Wood, which will be cut to shape. It can be made in about 2 hours and costs less than 50.00EUR.

The splitter will be solidly mounted to the front sub-frame in 4 places, with 4 additional beams supporting the outer perimeter. Two will be bolted to the bumper near front crash structure and will be outside the car, and the other two will be inside supporting the sides behind the bumper.

This is the final outer profile. Extends about 15 to 20cm beyond the front lip, which is only about 10cm from the front of the bumper; regulations allow for 15cm. The splitter then extend back to the front wheel axis (also dictated by regulations) where it meets the front sub-frame.

The splitter will be impregnated with weather proof coating, sprayed black and the coated with a plastifying spray paint which protect it from chips and scratches.

458 Challenge Underbody

September 15, 2014

While spending the afternoon at Ferrari Racing Days with ff Corse I thought it would be a good opportunity to see some of the details on the Challenge cars. They have been developed over so many years and across numerous models that you’d expect them to be pretty well proven.

A splitter is something I’m very keen on making soon as it’s one of the few steps I can take to improve frontal grip.

The splitter on the 458 Challenge is this carbon fibre skinned sandwich roughly 12mm thick. The “aesthetic” part of the splitter, which also formed the air dam, sat on top a plain carbon aramid panel that formed the rest of the front underbody. It was interesting to see that the front underbody/splitter was the only aramid fibre I could see on the car.

2 canards were riveted to each side of the bumper.

Recessed mounting points and venturi tunnels in front of each wheel well can also be seen.

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CLUB – Craft-A

September 11, 2009

I came across this blog for Craft-A and after I saw those front splitters I immediately fell in love. I secretly love Hondas, maybe it’s because they are the best NA machines or maybe because my family has been heavily involved with Honda (my grandfather even met Soichiro Honda).

They have a shop which sells and makes a few parts, here www.craft-a.com.

The aggressive front end simply does it for me, and the fact that they’re both track and street used is cool. Those splitters must take a beating over speed bumps, if they have any other there.

Really want to learn how to work with Carbon Fiber so I can do as SG-Motorsport has done. Foam core with double layer of CF all vacuum bagged, the end results looks outstanding and performs well. Super!

Pure function, so awesome!