The Catesby Tunnel opened again for the first time it was closed in 1966. And this time, it’s the racecars that have been running through this tunnel instead of the steam-powered trains. Multimatic with its driver, Andy Priaulx was able to reach a maximum speed of up to 120 mph (192 km/h) with the Mazda DPi. The racing team sent their Mazda DPi race car for the validation test which has a lot of experience to learn about this victorian tunnel. Multimatics learned a lot about its aerodynamic properties with hours of computer testing.
About the tests:
After multiple tests, it showed the tunnel showed similar information, the racing team had information about the race car itself. The tests say the 1.6-mile long (2.7 km) tunnel can be a better alternative to the traditional wind tunnels we use today to test our cars. Larry Holt, the head of motorsport at Multimatic says, ” In a moving ground plane wind tunnel, the car is stationary with the wind-blown over it by a massive fan. With the flow conditioning set-up, and a belt is arranged to move under the car at a coordinated speed. It’s a very sophisticated configuration but the car is still stationary and that constitutes the not real piece.”
The Catesby tunnel allows the cars to drive at high speeds in a straight line. These are more to the situations the car would face in real life compared to an artificial wind tunnel. The Catesby provides real-world testing without weather; excellent for the teams who can control it according to the car’s environment. These are the right conditions for a 1.6-mile track that offers consistent one would need for precise results. The driving is comfortable with higher speeds which can be easily achievable.