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Race Car Aerodynamics: Designing for Speed (Engineering and Performance) 2nd ed. Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0837601427
ISBN-10: 0837601428
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katz, a former Chief Executive Officer of Saltzman Enterprises, producers of the James Bond Films.
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China
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Product Details

  • Series: Engineering and Performance
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Bentley Publishers; 2nd ed. edition (March 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837601428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837601427
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrence Bird on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
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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This is a layman's account of aerodynamics for race car enthusiasts. The equations required for lift and drag are presented, minimal math because nothing is derived, and are illustrated in applications. I leave it to the non-mathematical readers to tell you if the approach worked, but it would be impossible to do the job with fewer formulae than he presents.
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Format: Paperback
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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Aerodynamics is an important factor at any speed. The book is well written and gives lots of examples. Most of the examples are cars made before 2000 but otherwise many of the cars features are known tuner/enthusiast cars that are still found on the road today. It was easy enough for me to understand and I am not any kind of genius. There are lots of graphs, tables, and pictures to illustrate the authors point. Overall I feel I got my moneys worth and will probably end up reading it multiple times.
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This book is great for understanding the math involved with aerodynamics. It reads like a textbook - facts with examples and evidence. A really great read so far. I'm just a hobbyist, but I'm fascinated by fluid/aerodynamics.
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Every single college has the same exact book when it comes to "Car Aerodynamics". Like Anderson's Aerodynamics book for general Aerodynamics, this book is the popular accepted reference point for JUST "Race Car Aerodynamics"...
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It is perhaps a mistake to title a book New Developments in Race Car Aerodynamics because the time will come when the book is no longer new. In 15 years the nature of aerodynamics has not changed but racing rules and regulations have and the tool of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has greatly matured. The effect of the CFD revolution, if I can call it that, is that flow vizualization and flow calculation based on 3D mathematical models of cars has become so good and so cheap, relatively speacking, that wind tunnels are now a verification tool to make sure the models are correct. All this means that a rewrite of this book would look entirely different. In additon, I am still unclear as to who the audience was for this. It was not for a practicing automotive aerodymanicist, not being technical enough. But somehow it doesn't seem to me correctly structured for the car sports enthusiast who wants to know a bit more about aerodynamics and auto racing.

Still, there are good things here. The brief discussion of wind tunnels is quite interesting and in a sense explains the demand side of the CFD development since clearly the capital intensity of really accurate autosports wind tunnels is high. The basic explanations of fluid dynamic behavior are clear enough. The references at the end of the chapters are quite helpful and would enable anyone seeking more in depth understanding to find a path, though again, they are all 15 years old.

This is not a bad book, but more a starting point than an ending point.
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