Autodesk will serve as the primary sponsor for Cole Custer in six races this season, beginning with Sunday’s event at Sonoma Raceway, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Wednesday.
Autodesk also will sponsor Custer’s No. 41 car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (Aug. 15), the regular-season finale at Daytona International Speedway (Aug. 28) and in the playoffs at Bristol Motor Speedway (Sept. 18), Talladega Superspeedway (Oct. 3) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (Oct. 10).
The company is based in San Francisco and is a leader in software applications for the engineering, manufacturing, construction, architecture, media and entertainment industries.
Autodesk is more than just a sponsor – it’s a key asset in making our cars perform every weekend,” said Greg Zipadelli, Vice President of Competition, SHR, in a statement from the team. “How we stay on top of new technologies while ensuring reliability is directly attributable to Autodesk and its technical support.”
An example of how SHR took advantage of Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software was in the redesign of the brake pedal.
“We undertook the brake pedal project primarily for weight savings,” said Walter Mitchell, Engineering Integration Manager, SHR in a statemdent. “Our existing brake pedal was designed and manufactured using traditional methods. Through previous iterations and revision, we could no longer produce or realize any additional weight savings.”
The new pedal accounts for a 32% reduction in weight with a 50% increase in stiffness. The entire project took two months to complete – from initial design to simulation, additive manufacturing of the pedal, testing and finalized part.
“We tested the pedal on an in-house designed test rig to simulate normal braking events over multiple race distances,” Mitchell said. “We set the pedal up in a fixture to simulate driver input load under normal braking conditions of 150 pounds, as well as panic braking loads of 350 pounds. Those braking events were conducted at a cycle of 6,000 events, which represents 3,000 laps of braking, and the pedal withstood all of those loads and cycles flawlessly.”