From the drawing board to the track record

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The Heidenheim simulation experts from Merkle & Partner have been a member of the “Sportprototype Team Engineering Project-1”, or Step-1, since 2008. With around 35 German medium-sized service providers and automotive suppliers, a modern racing car of the E2 / SC car class of the FIA regulations was developed.

On April 9, 2016 the perfect day had arrived. The track conditions, the weather, the external conditions and the support of the Bilster Mountain Drive Resort came together perfectly. A record attempt was not actually planned in the test program, reveals Michael Kerber, initiator and spokesman for Step-1. When they decided to make a record attempt in the late afternoon, the team around driver Sven Barth could barely believe their eyes when the new track record lit up. With the best time of 1: 33.707 minutes, the network had reached a real milestone and undercut the previous record of 2013 by 1 second.

Merkle & Partner was responsible for the development of external aerodynamics and the crash box. With the help of complex flow simulations, the air resistance of the racing car was virtually reduced and pressure applied to the road increased. In particular, isolated components such as front and rear wings were developed and optimized. The crash box on the nose of the racing car ensures the safety of the driver and absorbs the energy during a frontal collision. The optimal structure of the Crashbox could be determined by means of a crash simulation.

Step-1 Racing Car

We are very proud to be part of this innovative network and are looking forward to further records.

Cover Picture by Martin Traub

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Stefan Merkle

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