Indianapolis—Target Chip Ganassi Racing is a leading contender on the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) circuit. And it even scores with Indy-type cars, having won the 2000 Indianapolis 500, and will defend that title in 2001. CART cars—"open wheel formula" cars—are similar to Europe's Formula One, competing internationally in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Mexico, England, and Germany.
CART teams have 200 to 300 people who must create designs that can be manufactured internationally. The Chip Ganassi team works with part manufacture companies in the U.S. and England—such as the UK chassis company Lola.
Lola uses CATIA, so the racing team also chose CATIA for its own design, to communicate more effectively. "We define the areas of the car to redevelop and redesign, using Lola's CAD models," says Diane Holl, head of the design team. "We can swap drawings and modify designs."
The team also works in partnership with Toyota on the car's engine. "We're responsible for designing the cooling and oil systems for the engine, and we communicate back and forth with Toyota frequently. Toyota has most CAD programs, so we never have trouble sharing designs. To communicate with manufacturers that don't have CATIA, we use DXF and IGES translators in CATIA," Holl says.
To communicate with their partners and subcontractors in the UK, U.S., and Japan, the team usually sends and receives designs by e-mail, and reviews them over the telephone. Holl wishes everyone used the same CAD program. "When collaborating internationally, having the same CAD system in key places prevents problems. You don't waste time converting models and drawings—and you can never be sure that you can trust translations as much as an original," she says.
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