Kristen Helsel, primary principal in the new state-of-the-art Wind Tunnel eXtreme project recently announced at Michigan International Speedway, has confirmed that TRD U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) has signed up for one of the limited Wind Tunnel eXtreme memberships available to race teams and manufacturers seeking the most advanced high-tech wind tunnel services that exist in the world.
“Wind Tunnel eXtreme, LLC, is proud to announce that Toyota, a global automotive manufacturer and serious supporter of motorsports in all disciplines, has become the latest member,” said Helsel. “We look forward to additional, similar announcements in the near future.”
The number of memberships in Wind Tunnel eXtreme is controlled. Membership provides entry into a unique world of specialized services for the automotive and auto-racing industries, including multi-car testing, private garages, unparalleled security, first-class amenities, permanent storage, the ability to have special access to other capabilities, and benefits unavailable in other wind tunnel projects. Complete membership details will be provided to qualified potential customers.
“We are honored to include TRD U.S.A. as a member of Wind Tunnel eXtreme,” added Rick Barlow, one of four partners in the project. “The response to our wind tunnel has certainly exceeded our expectations as we have more than half of our capacity sold on a long-term basis. To have a member the caliber of TRD join is extremely exciting and we look forward to working with them as we go forward.”
“Toyota and TRD plan to be part of the NASCAR community for a long, long time,” said Lee White, senior vice president and general manager of TRD U.S.A. “We are building an engineering facility and technical center in the Charlotte area to focus on chassis design, development and research. However, another key component to the success of our NASCAR program is the availability of wind tunnel time. Our commitment to this program should alleviate that issue and provide us with an exceptional facility to utilize.”
Wind Tunnel eXtreme is scheduled to open in 2009 in a location in the Charlotte, N.C., area to be announced very soon. Wind Tunnel eXtreme will help provide teams from all motorsports disciplines an “unfair advantage” in aerodynamic development. The core of this program will be the most advanced automotive wind tunnel in the world, delivering technology that is not available today even to Formula 1 teams. Wind Tunnel eXtreme was created to address the scarcity of high-tech wind tunnel time in the United States. Slated to open in the third quarter of 2009, it will be a full-scale, world-class facility available to customers on a membership basis. It will also be the world’s only wind tunnel specifically designed for multiple-car testing, and the only customer wind tunnel in the world with the “TALINGZ®” option added to a single-belt MTS rolling-road system. It will have full-scale testing capability, reach wind and road speeds of up to 180-mph (80 m/s), and feature best-in-class adaptive wall wind tunnel technology.