FREE NEWSLETTER

Aerodynamic testing tunnel to launch this summer

22 February 2021

The Catesby Tunnel, which will turn a Victorian railway tunnel in Northamptonshire into full-scale aerodynamic testing facility, is nearing completion.

The multi-million pound tunnel is set to open this summer and will house a 2.7 km long, purpose-built, straight road test track, allowing an extensive range of vehicle assessment studies to be carried out on full-scale vehicles.

Capable of providing accurate and affordable full-scale aerodynamic and performance data, the tunnel is being developed by Brackley-based Aero Research Partners. TotalSim, an expert in Computational Fluid Dynamics, is one of the two partners involved.

The project, which commenced in 2017, carries echoes of the famed Laurel Hill facility in the US. Top secret for a long time, the former railway tunnel in Pennsylvania has been used by Chip Ganassi Racing to hone its racecars in a controlled environment.

Based on similar principles, Catesby Tunnel’s sealed, underground working section ensures there is no wind and minimal temperature changes and therefore provides a controlled environment for assured repeatable testing.

The ultra-smooth Tarmac surface will be incredibly flat due to the stringent specifications. The tunnel will be fitted with automated turntables at either end to allow for return testing.

The intention is for it to become the new standard for vehicle development and the testing of aerodynamic performance, cooling, aeroacoustics, emission and dirt deposition. As such, it will inevitably interest motorsport companies, as well as automotive manufacturers.

The new facility is a re-development of a disused railway tunnel which was once part of the Great Central Railway. Built as a double width tunnel and one of the longest disused tunnels of the Victorian era, Catesby’s long straight and constant gradient provides ideal testing conditions

“We are all very excited to be opening the doors to Catesby Tunnel later this year,” said Rob Lewis, Director at Aero Research Partners. “The tunnel’s infrastructure lends itself perfectly to providing an unrivalled vehicle testing facility where real cars can be tested on a real road in consistent conditions.

“It has been a huge collaborative effort and we hope to welcome customers from the UK, Europe and worldwide to take advantage of our unique facility.”

Read about it in our latest issue here.

Partners

Latest issue

FREE Newsletter

Stay up to date and a chance to win 1 Years Subscription*

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Latest Tweets

Stay up to date with our social world

RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
15 Oct
The November issue of RACE TECH out now. @BTCC #hybrid #Rally powerhouse M-Sport stunned rivals by winning the deal… https://t.co/O8AMBBXHO1
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
15 Oct
Don't miss the latest issue out now. Inside you'll find: #Porsche Misson R. All-electric GT racecar concept reveals… https://t.co/PMpIqGo0w7
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
7 Oct
Discover new business opportunities and collaborative partners at #MIACTS2021! ⏳Less than 1 week to go – registrat… https://t.co/QOnwfnPuzG
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
7 Oct
Red Bull and Honda create new motorsport partnership - https://t.co/rNXy4betCG https://t.co/4c2Kac7Ym5
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
6 Oct
Alpine commits four years to FIA WEC’s Hypercar category from 2024 - https://t.co/mg8vjkS1lt https://t.co/Z6Wba0f9LN
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
5 Oct
📣 Under 2 weeks until #MIACTS2021 – make sure you’ve registered your free place at this industry only B2B event! 🎫… https://t.co/bbLmgmR0vA
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
4 Oct
October issue FREE here for a limited time only https://t.co/Z6Mqv9jsS0 Powertrain Peril | #hydrogen | The wildest… https://t.co/9SPSuMjyAJ
RACE TECH magazine @RaceTechmag
1 Oct
The future of powertrain technologies in the spotlight in #motorsport Experts warn why we must avoid short-term thi… https://t.co/UGd34OOdqt