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Old 25 Jun 2008, 19:58 (Ref:2237523)   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 612
mattcat should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Originally Posted by MulsanneMike
The cockpit is actually a source of lift. The benefits of a closed top car are somewhat esoteric. Best guess is that closed top cars have less drag than an open top car. As for downforce, might be a bit of a wash as the cockpit potentially blocks flow to the rear wing. I'm told closed top LMPs have a slightly better L/D in low downforce configurations. I would guess in high downforce configs they are about equal.
Originally Posted by isynge
John Horsman puts it quite nicely in layman's terms in Racing in the Rain - here he points out that drag is a factor of frontal area (larger in a coupe) multiplied by aerodynamic efficiency (greater in a coupe) - so a coupe body should be very effective on a long straight such as the run to Mulsanne, however the comparative downforce figures for the coupe and open top Mirage M6s showed the open car to be considerably more effective in being pushed onto the track. It's all on p.300 if you're interested.

Now I appreciate these are lessons from 30 years ago, and I'm sure things have moved on considerably (I'm much more a historian than aerodynamacist!) but I imagine some of these principles will remain the same.
Hmmm...interesting. Thanks for the input guys.
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