2020 Aero Tests and Projects

I’ve been thinking about what to build and test in 2020. It’s a long winter here in upstate NY, and I’ll have some time on my hands. I just got my barn floor poured with concrete, and now I have 950 square feet to let my imagination run. Here’s a list of what’s on my mind. Leave a comment if there’s something in particular you’re interested in.

  • Underbody aero – Is it worth doing on a Miata?
    • Flat bottom – I’m very curious about this one, not sure if I’ll do this on my race car, street car, or both. I installed a canon subframe brace in my 1.6 specifically so I could hang the flat bottom off it. So… it’s fairly likely this will happen at some point.
    • Side skirts – The race car lost one side skirt spinning out at Mid Ohio. I’ll make new side skirts, which will be wider, and fit next to the pinch welds, reinforcing the jacking points along the entire car.
    • Diffuser – I made a diffuser out of aluminum street signs (I must have been in a Lemons frame of mind), but I haven’t mounted it yet.
  • Misc aero projects – Some projects are partially done, some are just drawings and ideas.
    • DIY fastback kit – I’ve been thinking about building a fastback kit for a Miata. This would be for race cars only. It would be a bunch of parts that can ship flat, and then you assemble it at home, fiberglass the seams, and paint it. My main problem with creating a product is I don’t want to support pain-in-the-ass customers.
    • 3D wing visualizer – This is a series of pivoting airfoils that I can mount on any car, just like a wing. It shows the shape and angle of air where a wing would be mounted. This would be great for setting wing height and angle, and also figuring out what’s the ideal shape of a 3D wing for just about any car. For science!
    • eBay wing 2.0 – Continue modifications to my cheap eBay wing to reduce drag and increase downforce. I’ve already started on this project because it’s a total fucking waste of time and that’s how I prioritize things.
    • End-plate mounted 9LR wing – This would require building new wing stanchions that mount to the rear quarter panels and come up vertically. Think Ferrari F40.
    • Shooting brake – I didn’t finish the shooting brake top I started earlier this year. Theoretically, it could have less drag than my fastback, and better visibility. And it’s unique looking.
    • NASA TTop – The TT6 rules allow convertibles to change the roofline shape, but the roofline must terminate at the front edge of the trunk. I have some ideas on how to build a roof with those limitations, but they are all sort of weird looking, like a Lotus Europa or Porsche 914. But they would have less drag and would work well in conjunction with a rear wing. From a practical standpoint, the trunk would still be functional.
    • Mazda RX500 top – This would be a custom top for 24 hours of Lemons. It’s almost like a station wagon, and would be simple to build.
    • Shark fin soup – Make a LeMans prototype-style top, complete with shark fin. If it works, race it in AER. If it doesn’t, race it in Lemons.
  • Aero+ tests – To do these properly I need to hire Jeremiah again. Without him, it’ll be just Aim Solo data which is a lot less accurate.
    • Underbody aero – Test different combinations of flat bottom, side skirts, and diffuser.
    • Front end aero – I didn’t get to test a stock front end vs R-package lip vs airdam. I have all the parts. I think we all know which is best, but how much better?
    • Low-speed aero – It’s easy for me to test low speed aero at my country club, Pineview Run. I just need to get my shit together, bring all the parts, and do it.
    • Spoilers by the inch – There’s a neat website called Ballistics by the Inch, where they start with a long gun barrel and progressively cut it shorter and record the resulting velocity. My test would be like that, but progressively a taller spoiler and record lap time. What’s the optimum spoiler height?
    • Tires – Pineview is a great place to test tires. I have some ideas in mind, like using one tire, and trying different widths, to see how much just tire width changes things. For example, I could test RS4s in 195, 225, and 245, on 7.5, 8.5 and 9″ wheels, respectively. I’m not sure how useful that is, but I’ve always been curious about this.

What’s on your mind? Leave a comment.

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