I am researching building a small wind tunnel to test body work for karts and motorcycles. Anyone have interest in this project let me hear from you. It will be big enough for a full size kart with driver.
On the wind tunnel aspect, I've looked into renting time in a tunnel. The key is being able to Use the information. Don't forget, because the floor isn't moving, the air under the kart is not correct. Because the tires aren't rolling, the air around them isn't correct. You are wanting to gauge the aero qualities at relatively slow velocities and you already have several obstacles to getting realistic readings and then you have to figure out how your readings relate to the real world. Guys go to school for years to be able to figure all that out.
Get this, Ferrari's F1 team's issues this year we're attributed to not being able to figure out the relationship of their tunnel to real world. They are now using the old Toyota F1 tunnel. That's how important being able to correlate findings can be.
It is easier (AND CHEAPER) to rent an asphalt track for a day or 7 and just test, test, test.....
You cAn break down what you need the wedge for. I tend to like the aspects of corner control more then downforce. The sideboards provide excellent side force allowing you to drive deeper and harder into the corner with more stability. Then use mechanical force and tires adjustments for grip works well for me. I use to run a wejwing but tuning out the tremendous amount of rear downforce didn't work well with my low cross preference. Low mount backboard with a wickerbill is about as far as I push the downforce on wedges I build now. Just my point of view
Mike you are correct, but my therory is pretty simple, A little fine tuning on that body work beats none. You spend thousands on a motor and the same on tires yet you have no idea where that body helps. Straightway, corners, where? Will a small strip here or there make it better?
I don't believe you'll get a flat kart to run with a wedge bodied kart. especially now with the bigger power plant's . I'm with Mike on the wind tunnel view point. It would be cool to get some data from such a thing, but lap time comparisons best average with a wedge vs best without. Now old school video taping and string taped all over the kart may help in wedge design and effectiveness. I know if you put your experiments on video and post them up you'll get a massive viewing tunnel or no tunnel.
Another aspect is how the kart "feels". You can run the same fast lap time in qualifying but to do it lap after lap? Feel can not be configured in a tunnel and it is very difficult to determine how the kart will act aero-wise on corner entry....transition into the corner when the surface is not even....
There is a lot of stuff to consider other than air just passing over the top...
With regards to a treadmill, that's what they basicly use in a rolling floor tunnel. Surface deviations still aren't in that equation.....and we are on dirt.
I'm not trying to be a buzz kill. It just takes a huge base of knowledge and understanding to be able to get something productive out of it. The more serious I got about dropping $5000 on 2-3 hours, the more I began to realize that is just the tip of the iceberg. $5000 pays for a LOT of track time!