TitleThe History of Racecar Wind Tunnel Testing in Southern California
DateWednesday, October 13, 2021
Time6:00PM PST
Short DescriptionDuring the 1980s to the early 2000s Southern California played a huge role in the development of racecar wind tunnel testing for open wheel and sportscar racing. This talk will focus on the role Electramotive, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, Swift Engineering, and San Diego State University played in the development of racecars and wind tunnel testing technology.   
Detailed DescriptionSouthern California has always been famous for its great car culture, but its role in the development of racecar aerodynamics is largely unknown. In this talk we will explore how racecar wind tunnel testing is done, and how that technology was partly developed in Southern California. First the presentation will go over the trio of the racecar aerodynamics testing tools: Computer Simulation, Wind Tunnel Testing, and Track Testing and I’ll explain why all three methods are used. From here we’ll focus mostly on wind tunnel testing. Using firsthand accounts and pictures from engineers who worked at San Diego State University, Electramotive, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, and Swift Engineering we’ll look how each organization developed their wind tunnel testing technology. Additionally, we’ll also look at some of some of the cars developed by each organization from  the mighty ground effect IMSA GTP cars of the 1980s to Indycars of the 90s and early 2000s.
Panelist NameRami Edirisinghe
Panelist BioRami Edirisinghe is a recently graduated Master’s student in Mechanical Engineering from California State University Fullerton. At CSUF Rami worked to renovate the University subsonic wind tunnel and has designed a bespoke rolling road system for the wind tunnel to allow for vehicle aerodynamics testing. From 2014 to 2020 Rami also was the aerodynamicist for the Jager Racing Time Attack Team and developed the team’s aerodynamics testing program and strategy.