Optimization Wins the Race Against Time at Polestar



Results in different track races. [Courtesy of Polestar]

Polestar Racing has been using modeFRONTIER in different steps of the development of the ‘Polestar Performance’ concept. The software is used both as a tool for driving the aerodynamics, multibody and structural analysis process, and to improve the real lap time simulation. In 2012 Touring Car Team Association (TTA) championship, Polestar Racing won the first prize for the Drivers, Teams and Manufacturers categories with their innovative car design. 


modeFRONTIER capability to extend simulation analysis made possible the interrelated parameter study.Per Blomberg, Manager of Chassis Development at Polestar

 

The 2012 season of the Racing Elite League run by TTA introduced new rules leaving little room for engineering design changes. Therefore, the Polestar Racing vehicle model had to be modified without considering the chassis design parameters, which were previously the core of the optimization analysis. Design simulation acquired an even greater importance as the best combination of the Front-to-Rear weight, aerodynamics and brake distribution in less time (track testing was limited to three days) became the new target.

The simulation tools used - Adams.Car by MSC Software and the Lap Time Simulation (LTS) in-house code - were easily integrated into the modeFRONTIER optimization workflow, to optimally tune the Front-to-Rear weight distribution parameters. “Considering the limited amount of time we have had for testing in this championship” – says Per Blomberg, Manager of Chassis Development – “this kind of interrelated parameters study would not have been possible without the capability of modeFRONTIER to extend the simulation analysis”. Improvements in weight, aerodynamics and brake distribution led to a lap time reduction ranging from 0.19 to 0.50 seconds.



Telemetry software analyzing results [Courtesy of Polestar]

In only a few hours of simulation time modeFRONTIER piloted the evaluation of parameter combinations that might have never been tested, leading to enhanced configurations. The optimization framework initially set up for the TTA championship can be promptly adapted to the typical circuits of the STCC championship. Repeating the study considering different conditions is now “something that we can do even overnight on a weekend race, once we have completed the trial session and gathered some data about the track model”. Similarly, it is rather easy to run a new optimization cycle even with modified conditions, such as the driver, tires, and so forth: once the relevant parameters in the LTS vehicle model (e.g. engine or track model) are set, modeFRONTIER performs a robust sensitivity verification of the output (lap time) in relation to different vehicle parameters.

 

Repeating the analysis is now something that we can do even overnight on a weekend race. Per Blomberg, Manager of Chassis Development at Polestar