The Value of CAE in Motorsports – Part 2

By SiemensPLM

“You win some, lose some, and wreck some.” – Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

In Part #1 of this series, you heard about Hendrick Motorsports and how they are leveraging the analytical capabilities of NX for success on the track. They also rely on the underlying structure and data management agility of the greater Siemens PLM backbone, through Teamcenter. The resulting integration allows for a single thread of information stretching seamlessly from  CAD workstations in North Carolina to the hot Daytona asphalt, and the airport lounges in between. This case study gives you the why and how surrounding the implementation of Teamcenter at Hendrick back in 2004. If you like, you can check out the Hendrick Motorsports blog here.

In this installment, I’d like to shed some more light on the real, tangible benefits of simulation and computer-aided numerics for race teams trying to quite literally – put the competition behind them. I view CAE as having two distinct roles – one in the off-season, and one during the actual race season. In the off-season, CAE assumes the role of problem deterrence, allowing teams to put their best foot forward with optimally performing, durable, and dependable designs. It is the proactive pursuit of success characterized by the evaluation of what-if scenarios, the study of performance trade-offs, and the exploitation of component synergies for that competitive advantage.

During the race season, CAE assumes the role of problem mitigation. Failures, complications, and performance shortfalls observed on track are diagnosed and addressed swiftly with CAE analytics. It allows the virtual re-creation of failures, trouble-shooting of issues not fully understood, and the subsequent rapid development of solutions and counter-measures to abate these issues. In order to affect the outcome of the next race, a solution typically needs to be developed and deployed through CNC manufacturing within seven days – a feat simply impossible without the virtual part validation afforded by CAE.

I’d like to share the following interview with you, which I believe echoes many of the sentiments above. Here’s what Mark Bringle of Joe Gibbs Racing had to say about the value of CAE and specifically, the Siemens solution set at the recent 2011 NX CAE Symposium.

    Mark Bringle of Joe Gibbs racing

CAE is a tool that can be used both proactively, to deliver upfront performance, and reactively, to understand failures, and architect appropriate solutions.  Leave a comment with your thoughts or experience on this topic and make the discussion happen.

Stay tuned for the third and final post…


Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at