2017 WRC aero reliability and wakes

2017 Rally of Poland stages have shown again the sensitivity of new aerodynamic appendices to impacts, as well as their crucial role in car handling. Lack of downforce was one of the words of the weekend, as Sebastien Ogier could notice after losing his front splitter on stage 12.

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S.Ogier/J.Ingrassia, Ford Fiesta WRC’17, Rally of Poland 2017, 3rd

Also, Jari Matti had to cope with a car with no front splitter for some stages, as well as damages on the right wheel arch that also perturbed airflow on this area.

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J.M.Latvala/M.Anttila, Toyota Yaris WRC, Rally of Poland 2017, 20th

Ott Tanak suffered the same problem as Mads Østberg in Sweden, the sudden detachment of the rear wing in a straight of stage 16, and he had to cope with a dangerous and unbalanced car for three more stages. Fortunately, there were no big jumps on these stages, cause at the high speeds most stages have been done, such a failure may have caused a serious accident. Hopefully, the teams will work hard to solve it and to avoid it doesn’t happen again in the fast jumps of Finland.

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O.Tänak/M. Jarveoja, Ford Fiesta WRC’17, Rally of Poland 2017, retired

Gravel stages in Sardegna Rally allowed to obtain very interesting pictures of new cars’ wakes, which is of great value for wake visualization and aerodynamic evaluation, as well as for comparative purposes. Pictures below, by Luca Zanella, show wakes of a Hyundai i20 WRC, a Citroen C3 WRC and a Ford Fiesta WRC’17.

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The C3 WRC seems to generate a more homogeneous and more developed wake when compared to the Hyundai’s wake, while Ford’s seems to be the most chaotic. In comparison, the 2016 Ford Fiesta car below showed a more developed wake.

Simone Romagna

Presence and effect of new diffusers are clearly visible in the Elfyn Evans picture below.

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E.Evans/D. Barritt, Ford Fiesta WRC’17, 2017 Rally of Sardegna, retired

This post includes opinions of the author, which are certainly not always right. If you detect any error or you disagree, do not hesitate to contact us, by sending an email to wrcwings@gmail.com. We love to learn!

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