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New Directions in Race Car Aerodynamics: Designing for Speed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2006
An absolutely wonderful book. Joseph Katz clearly knows his stuff, the facts are current, and this book is very well organized and edited making it easy and pleasurable to read. There are plenty of diagrams and examples making all of the concepts easy to understand. This book has all the mathematics you need, while keeping the numbers separated into insets. Whether you're a physicist looking for equations with derivations, or you're only interested in the principles of the subject, this is a must have for anyone with an interest in the technologies of auto racing, exotic cars, or any application of aerodynamics.

I'm a physicist writing race car simulators at work. This book is the favorite amongst all members of my team; there are several copies floating around our office.
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on October 28, 1998
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and informative. The author clearly showed a great deal of familiarity with race cars and does a good job of laying out concepts without overcoming the reader with formulas or technical jargon. At the same time, he addresses some very cutting edge concepts such as the use of micro-vortex generators for drag reduction, and ground effects and exhaust powered ejectors for down force. There is certainly enough material covered to keep the most avid aerodynamicist interested and looking for more. Personally, I would love to see a follow up book published that goes into more technical detail, but I'm sure the author doesn't want to give up all of his secrets.
The only place where I did find the book lacking was in addressing vortex flow. Passenger automobiles are using turbulent air flow more often these days, primarily to reduce drag, yet none of the tricks you see commonly on Porsches or Corvettes, or even on every day sedans were addressed. Hopefully the author is saving this for his next book.
Overall I would definitely recommend that anyone interested in exotic cars, either as a spectator or operator, add this book to their collection.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2000
The author does an excellent job of giving a layman's intro to auto-aerodynamics and the text is quite useful for a fan trying to understand what all those wings, bills and slots are supposed to do on CART, F1, IRL cars. It is clear that the author is very well versed in the subject of aerodynamics. Regrettably, he seems more intrigued by aerodynamics, than automobile aerodynamics and he draws the line of application to autos so shallowly that a serious reader will have to go to other aero-texts to actually apply what is offered here. This does not mean that he doesn't discuss at length, things like wings, slots, boundry-layers and a modest discussion of laminar flow (which is curious, since it is rarely achieved to any large degree -- the chronic automobile problem of turbulance producing bumps, ridges, seams and other protrusions, coupled with awful pressure gradients except perhaps on land speed record cars) and that part of the text is interesting.
There is an ongoing -- and intriguing, but not thorough -- discussion of the exotics of the racing world and he looks at open-wheeled cars quite often, but there a noticeable lack of discussion of open-wheel v. mud-flap bodywork. But the discussion of the challanges of racing at high-speeds in relatively stock-bodied autos is superficial at best. As an example, with all the aero-difficulties that NASCAR stockers have had staying on the ground for the past 15-years, there is limited discussion and the reader is left with one picture of an old Pontiac sedan drafting -- you will have to really read between the lines to figure out what a spoiler does, let alone how this most basic device works. However, if you dig, a reader can extrapolate some useful, but minimal, lift/drag/downforce data from some of the tables in the book...
Unfortunately, the good professor didn't give us the benifit of much of his obvious knowledge -- it seems to be an honest look at the automobile, but through the eyes of a Cessna, Boeing or Lockheed designer. A great book at half the price, but if your interests or racing rules require a relatively stock sedan or sports-car body configuration, there are other books with a more thorough treatment of the subject in this price range.
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on December 13, 2001
If you've never taken a fluids course or are not a racing fan, this book will be a good introduction for both. It's not anywhere nearly as technical as his other books ("Low-Speed Aerodynamics" is arguably the standard in inviscid flows and on the shelf of most aero/fluids grad student), thankfully.
VERY basic on fluid mechanics/dynamics and scrapes the surface on racecar aerodynamics, but almost everybody in our wind tunnel (Langley Full Scale Tunnel) has a copy!
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on May 15, 2002
A little bit American, but even so, an excellent first step towards understanding airflow effects.
As an F1 aerodynamicist myself I would encourage purchase of this book, informative and easy to read. Slightly outdated and simplistic but still relevant.
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on November 9, 2001
Just verry professional helped me a great deal designing diffusers for BMW M3's
jr. strous
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2003
It's a very interesting and technical book. It's explains all aspects about the car's aerodynamics.
The reader needs a lot knowlege about maths and phisics subjets and equations, but if you have that knowlege, is your book!!
I think is a good book for teacher and students of fluid's dynamics, especially if they love cars.
You find the best way to design winds, spoilers and car's bodies.
Es un libro muy específico y es necesario el dominio de algunos conceptos de matemáticas y física, si el lector los posee, le será de gran ayuda.
Puede encontrar información para crear sus propias formas aerodinamicas, tales como spoilers, alerones, e incluso carrocerías.
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