The smoke-wand test allows...
The smoke-wand test allows us to see how the air was traveling over the car.Notice once the wind gets to the air filter cover, it splits toward the passenger-side of the vehicle--providing a more direct hit on the spoiler. This is why we saw an increase in the rear downforce with this piece.
We also found that all rear spoilers have a stall point where they stop producing downforce at the rear of the vehicle. For instance, we kept making small changes to our adjustable rear spoiler where we would raise the angle about 10 degrees, do a test and then raise it some more. When we got to a certain higher angle, all of a sudden we lost rear downforce.
At first we thought the bolt wasn't tightened and that the rear spoiler had slid back to its original height, but we noticed we still had recorded an increase in drag. The team found the stall point of its rear spoiler. This goes back to what we'd talked about before--increasing drag will not necessarily increase downforce. Even though the spoiler was causing more drag for the entire car, it wasn't increasing the downforce for the rear of the vehicle.
Now with all the downforce...
Now with all the downforce numbers that Menscer Motorsports has, it will know how big of an adjustment it's making when it tilts the rear spoiler, or if the team attaches a new roof. This is why time in the wind tunnel is beneficial.
The point of all this is not only to prove that you can benefit from spending a few hours in the wind tunnel, but also to show you that simple changes can go a long way in affecting the handling of your car. This also gives you options when at the track. Menscer Motorsports now knows that if its driver has a complaint, the guys know how much downforce they can expect to add when they make a small rear spoiler change. I'm not saying that in order to win you have to spend 5 hours in the A2WT, but it could go along way in helping you end up in Victory Lane.
The A2 Wind Tunnel (A2wt)The A2 Wind Tunnel (A2WT) in Mooresville, N.C., was designed with the grassroots market in mind. The A2WT has been open for almost three years now and it has seen a wide variety of vehicles come through its doors. It has seen everything from Karts, Bicyclists, and ATVs to Dirt Late Models, ARCA, and USAR Pro Cup cars. Pricing for the A2WT might seem a little outrageous at first, $390/hr. But when you compare that to its big brother, the Aerodyn Wind Tunnel, which services the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams and charges $1,590/hr., it seems relatively inexpensive, even a bargain. And unlike its competitors who make you rent the tunnel for the entire day, the A2WT requires only a two-hour minimum.
The key to having a successful test at the tunnel is to be prepared when you unload the car. As you can see in the photos, Menscer Motorsports was ready for the test, it brought different hoods, spoilers, fenders, and so on. Each time the team made a change, it was able to see exactly where and how it changed the downforce numbers.