Helping a racing team wave the checkered flag
Winning car races is more than just good driving. Modeling software is critical to have a shot at claiming first place. Our client, a race car engine manufacturer, engaged us to recreate aerodynamic modeling software previously built over many years in just two months.
Immersing ourselves in the excitement of racing season, forming a close partnership with our client, and making incremental releases based on user feedback made this project a success. The biggest highlight, though, was watching the racing team use the software we built together to win the premiere event of the season.
What We Did
A fast pace for the start of an internationally-recognized motorsport season characterized this engagement. Our client, a race car engine manufacturer, engaged us to recreate aerodynamic modeling software previously built over many years in a matter of just two months.
Race team engineers need this software to simulate the performance of the car with various aerodynamic components installed and configured. It also allows them to model how weather and track conditions will affect the car’s performance. The modeling software tells the engineer how the car will act in terms of factors like downforce, drag, and aerodynamic balance.
Winning races is more than just good driving. Modeling software is a key tool in the race engineer’s toolbox. Since testing setups of actual cars is not always feasible or affordable, race teams need apps like this to have a chance of competing.
Our engineering team and our client quickly got to work. Within a short time frame, we generated an initial minimum viable product. From there we worked iteratively, increasing functionality over the course of the season. Each release coincided with another race, bringing new functionality and improved usability. A tight feedback loop with our client helped ensure we were building the best tool to meet our client’s and its race teams’ needs.
After releasing the initial version of the software, we interacted directly with our client’s race teams. We met with each team and watched as they used the tool. Getting first-hand user feedback allowed us to better understand our users’ perspective. They noted the fresh visual design and increased dynamic flexibility as improvements over the old software.
Immersing ourselves in the excitement of the racing season, forming a great partnership with our client, and accomplishing a very quick turnaround made this project a success. However we experienced our biggest success when we watched a team using the software win the premiere event of the season. We had released a new version just prior to the race and the team used it to configure its cars. Many factors contribute to a win in racing, but it was exciting to be part of such a huge achievement with our client so soon after creating the software.
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