The paper presents a procedure for the integrated design (tuning) of tyres and suspensions of racing cars.
A complete model of a racing car has been developed and implemented. The model is suitable to simulate the vehicle behaviour in extreme driving conditions.
A number of ground tests have been performed to validate the vehicle model, with fully satisfactory results.
Many different driving situations (steady state, J-turn, lane-change, power-on/off while steering, braking on a bend, passing over a kerb while steering) have been considered. By means of a Multi-criteria approach many performance indexes have been optimised by changing the parameters related both to the vehicle suspension system and to the tyre characteristics. A global-approximation model has been built (the original physical model has been substituted by another purely numerical model), allowing fast optimisations. A number of preferred solutions have been selected from the optimal set. Professional drivers tested the cars fitted with optimal suspension/tyre settings. The improvements predicted by computations were substantially confirmed. The adopted procedure has proved to be reliable and effective both for obtaining the highest performances and for reducing the number of ground tests.