8. Analysis

The analysis capability is by far the most important part of the VDP. Race engineers need quick and accurate answers to “what if” questions about the setup of the car. An intrinsic part of any dynamics program is the ability to input setup scenarios and in return get results in an easily assimilated format.

Several different types of analysis are possible within the VDP. A simple example would be to go to the “Heave Sheet” here the dynamic ride heights are displayed along with the aerodynamic balance shift and dynamic weight distribution. The contact points with the packers are indicated as well as the terminal speed. The influence of any aerodynamic or dynamic changes to the setup will immediately be seen in this chart. New static ride heights can be established very quickly for any given change in inputs.

The extract below shows the “Heave” charts

Heave Chart

It is also possible to export acquisition data from WinTax and compare it against simulated plots generated by the VDP. The VDP requires 5 common channels to be exported along with up to 20 other extra channels.

The common channels are:

  • Elapse Time
  • Speed
  • Lateral Acceleration
  • Longitudinal Acceleration
  • Steering Wheel Angle

Any of the extra channels can be compared against the simulated VDP channels. Again any changes in setup will be displayed in the simulated trace. It is also possible to overlay this trace with the speed, lateral acceleration and longitudinal acceleration traces. The VDP channel itself can be overlaid so that alternative setups can be tried and compared.

The extract below shows the “Lap Simulation” sheet

Lap Chart

The lap simulation above shows the simulated front and rear ride heights for a whole lap. All the exported channels from WinTax are contained in the acquisition selection box. All the VDP channels are contained in the VDP plot selection box. The VDP channels are fully editable, in fact anything that can be calculated can also be plotted on the lap chart.

The last type of analysis and probably the most interesting from a race engineering point of view is the “Spectral Analysis”. This gives the race engineer endless opportunities to analyze every aspect of the car’s behavior. The principle is very straight forward any two input parameters i.e. anything you can change on the car from within the VDP, is plotted against its result or effect on the car. The total numbers of combinations are limitless. It is often said “Do not change two things on the car at the same time”. The problem is most of the time you are doing just that! If you change a wing setting it will also change the dynamic ride height. Overall the aerodynamic down force has changed due to the wing and ride height changes. Some of the interactions due to changes can be very complex. This tool can help shed some light onto this area of race engineering. The results can then be cross referenced in order to make sound and educated decisions on the alteration to the car’s setup.

The extract below shows the “Spectral Analysis” sheet

Spectral Chart

The VDP plot channels on the “Spectral Analysis” sheet are identical to the ones on the “Lap Simulation” sheet. Plus you have X and Y parameter channels which can be linked to any input box in the VDP. These parameter channels can then take a maximum and minimum range of values that you specify. Values between the range limits are input into the parameter channels selected and the results of the interactions can be seen on the charts. The chart on the left shows the results in a 3D view, the other chart shows the same results in a 2D view. The VDP plot channels can be linked to any results cell contained in the whole of the VDP. It is also possible to write your own math channels and have these plotted against the input parameters.

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