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Touring race team seeks edge with CAE. (Computing).

In both 2001 and 2002, the Triple Eight Race Engineering team of Banbury, England, has swept the driver, team, and manufacturer British Touring Car Championship titles and the team is gearing up for a June 2003 win with its Vauxhall Astra Coupe racecars. Race results weren't known at press time.

The British Touring Car Championship dates to 1958 and owes its popularity in part to the strong visual resemblance between the racecars and standard consumer cars. Unlike their consumer counterparts, however, British Touring Cars are tuned for top performance, according to the BTCC. The cars weigh between 1,150 and 1,216 kilograms, or between 2,530 and 2,675 pounds. The engines have about 300 brake horsepower and the fastest circuit allows a top speed of 150 mph, with the quickest corner taken at approximately 130 mph.

Engineers need to ensure the best possible car design to reduce car weight and increase strength, according to John Morton, Triple Eight's chief designer. To study and analyze a variety of load-bearing components, Triple Eight uses linear static analysis software from Algor of Pittsburgh.

The software vendor's InCAD technology also allows engineers to exchange information between the team's CAD system from Autodesk Inventor and its computer-aided engineering systems, including Algor. Morton uses the CAD software to model load-bearing components.

Some of the components analyzed with the FEA software include upper and lower engine mounts and the front anti-roll bar blade, Morton said.

Formed in 1996, Triple Eight ran two cars in 2002 in Vauxhall livery and two cars sponsored by Egg Sport. This year, the team is running three cars, all in the Vauxhall colors.

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Title Annotation:computer aided engineering, Triple Eight Race Engineering
Comment:Touring race team seeks edge with CAE. (Computing).(computer aided engineering, Triple Eight Race Engineering)
Author:Thilmany, Jean
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Jul 1, 2003
Words:273
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