Postprint version. Published in The Aeronautical Journal, Volume 118, Issue 1210, December 1, 2014, pages 1385-1407.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author G. Doig was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A numerical investigation of generic open-wheel racing car wing and wheel geometry has been conducted, using original sub-scale experimental data for validation. It was determined that there are three main interactions that may occur, identifiable by the path that the main and secondary wing vortices take around the wheel. Interaction ‘A’ occurs when the main and secondary wing vortices both travel outboard of the wheel; interaction ‘B’ is obtained when only the main wing vortex passes inboard of the wheel; while interaction ‘C’ sees both wing vortices travel inboard of the wheel. The different interactions are achieved when geometric changes to the wing affect the pressure distribution about the endplate, either by altering the magnitude of suction generated by the wing or by changing the locations of peak suction and vortices relative to the wheel’s stagnation regions. As a result, the influence that the wing and wheel have on each other – in comparison to the same bodies in isolation – varies, resulting in significant consequences for downforce and drag.