Australian racing car team wins race and design challenge

Australian racing team, Kelly Racing, has received a design award for using Autodesk software to mock-up new car components created for speed, without testing them out on the racing track.

The team was named Autodesk October Inventor of the Month for validating new components in only a three-week timeframe using Autodesk Inventor Professional, Autodesk Simulation CFD, Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics and Autodesk Vault Professional softwares.

“It is critical for us to be fast and efficient in every facet of our business,” said Rick Kelly, team racer and business co-owner.

“Autodesk provides the technology and expertise to streamline our entire design process, so we can beat our competition on the track and in the marketplace. Now that we have incorporated Autodesk Product Design Suite, it has enabled us to further enhance our workflow.”

Following a race weekend, the drivers briefed Kelly Racing’s in-house design and engineering team on what precisely went right and wrong during the race. They then set to work with Inventor Professional software to make modifications to the existing car parts that can enhance performance and save the team time.

For example, improvements to the front end of the car, in particular the suspension assembly, has increased traction and grip by 8%, leading to faster lap times or shaving 1% of total car weight through design and material optimisation. Even the most minor modifications play a vital role in a sport where a fraction of a second can be the difference between first and twenty-first place.

Engineers then tested revised designs with Autodesk Simulation CFD to optimise aerodynamic performance and ensure the components are able to perform at speeds of up to 300 kilometers (188 miles) per hour. Autodesk Simulation Multiphysics software is also used to predict and validate the mechanical performance of the new components.

Autodesk Vault Professional data management software helped manage the design process from initial concept to final release, providing the engineering team with greater control over the design process right up until the component or part is manufactured, released to the race department and put on the car.

Embracing Digital Prototyping has been a winning strategy for Kelly Racing. A new racing team typically takes six or more years to register its first win, but just barely into its third season, Kelly Racing has already scored two victories along with nine podium finishes.