Optimal control of a NASCAR–specification race car

D. J.N. Limebeer, M. Bastin, E. Warren, H. G. Fensham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper adapts the minimum-lap-time simulation technologies developed in Formula One to NASCAR. The adaptation process requires recognition of the variable lateral curvature of some tracks, as well as the asymmetries of NASCAR-specification race cars that have been configured for high-speed oval tracks that are dominated by left-hand cornering. These asymmetries include different suspension characteristics on the left- and right-hand ends of each axle, different left- and right-hand tyres on each axle, as well as asymmetries in the car's aerodynamic performance. The results compare optimal control calculations, industrial simulation-based predictions and race-captured telemetry data. For the most part, these various data sources are in good agreement, with the importance of variable lateral camber highlighted. It is demonstrated how race car drivers have to find the best compromise between the conflicting objectives of exploiting the additional camber available on the outside of variable-camber tracks and increasing the travelled distance and racing line cornering curvature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1235
Number of pages26
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • high-fidelity simulation
  • Minimum lap-time simulation
  • optimal control
  • three-dimensional tracks
  • vehicle modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal control of a NASCAR–specification race car'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this