A couple of months ago, on February 9, 2014, Maranello Motorsport won the Bathurst 12 Hour at the Mount Panorama circuit in New South Wales, Australia. Maranello Motorsport is a customer of ChassisSim, a new member of the Altair Partner Alliance. What made this victory significant is that it provides the perfect case study of simulation in action and how it can make a real difference.
Maranello Motorsport is located in Melbourne, Australia, and specializes in Ferrari sales, service and support. The company grew out of the successful Prancing Horse racing team, which was formed in the late 1990’s. Under the guidance of managing director Mark Coffey and Prancing Horse Racing, Maranello Motorsport’s star drivers John Bowe, Ryan Briscoe, Greg Murphy, Craig Baird, Craig Lowndes, and Alan Simonsen have won many races in Ferrari GT Race Cars.
The race engineering staff members working on the car for Maranello Motorsport were experienced ChassisSim users. One of the key components that supported the Bathurst 12 Hour victory was the ChassisSim shaker rig toolbox. This toolbox allows race and vehicle dynamics engineers to perform virtual shaker rig tests at the office and at the race track. It proved to be an invaluable tool to analyze the frequency behavior of the car and was instrumental in specifying the dampers.
The lap time simulation component of ChassisSim was also helpful. This made it possible for the race engineering team at Maranello Motorsport to identify transient handling issues. It also gave them the confidence to stick with their engineering plan and focus on getting the drivers up to speed, which is absolutely critical for a street circuit like Bathurst.
Finally, the aero and tire modeling toolboxes of ChassisSim allowed Maranello Motorsport to truly understand their car. This functionality, combined with the shaker rig and lap time simulation tools, meant that they only needed to do three setup changes throughout the weekend.