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Advanced Engineering 2018

ACG Supports Bertrandt to Design the Ultimate Gravity Racer

22 July 2003

ACG has supported Bertrandt UK in this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in the Gravity Racing Club Dunhill Challenge with a composite Soapbox.

Visitors to the UK's annual Goodwood Festival of Speed will be familiar with the 'Soapbox Challenge', a curving downhill race of approximately one mile contested by an invited collection of high-technology gravity racers. Conceived to invoke the nostalgia of historic motor racing, the single-seater vehicles, powered only by gravity, compete for the fastest aggregate time over 2 days of racing. Competition is fierce and entrants typically enlist increasingly high-technology solutions in order to seek optimal performance from their designs.

For the 2003 challenge, Bertrandt chose the radical step of designing and simulating the vehicle using a completely virtual design & development environment and then approached the Advanced Composites Group for composite materials expertise and complementary automotive focus. The complete vehicle structure and the ride and handling performance were designed and simulated on computer. No prototypes were built or tested, and the first car to be built was the one that ultimately raced and caused such a stir in the paddock. The complete design and manufacture process took only 9 weeks.






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