Competition Car Aerodynamics: A Practical Handbook

by Simon McBeath

This second edition of McBeath’s book has been extensively updated since the first edition in 2006. Naturally CFD (Computational fluid dynamics) is extensively covered but it is his research and explanation of things ike airdams, splitters, and spoilers in chapter 4 that are particularly interesting as is the chapter on wings. There is a chapter on underbody aerodynamics  and another on miscellaneous devices such as scoop inlets and dive planes which really help the reader and budding aerodynamicist understand what these devices do.

The book is aimed at the person who does not have any specialized knowledge of aerodynamics. It is the chapter on removing (some of) the guesswork which is particularly well written in which he covers a variety of complicated topics but which he explains in a lucid way so that even the non-specialist will be able to comprehend what is being written.

For McBeath, a motorsport technology writer, this topic is his daily bread because he runs a business designing, manufacturing, and marketing composite racecar aerofoils, and consults on matters of aerodynamics. He is also a long-time competitor in sprints and hillclimbs and is Press Officer for the Gurston Down (UK) hillclimb venue.

The next time you look at a racecar you’ll understand a lot more about what makes it work after reading this book.


Copyright 2011, William Kimberley (

(The reviewer is editor of Race Tech magazine, a monthly technology-led motorsport engineering magazine; Moto Tech, a publication along similar lines on motorbikes; and Bernoulli, a very specialist magazine on racecar aerodynamics and vehicle handling.)

Competition Car Aerodynamics: A Practical Handbook
by Simon McBeath
Haynes, 2nd edition (April 15, 2011)
288 pages, 250 color & 25 b/w illustrations, hardcover
List Price: $39.95
ISBN-13: 978-0857330079

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