AP Racing is a leading manufacturer of performance brake and clutch systems for road and race cars. CCS has provided them with bespoke test rigs, calibrators, software upgrades and data acquisition systems since 2011.

Development of a control and acquisition system which could be built into a dynamometer, to create a bespoke regenerative braking simulator and test rig, implementing new methods of: track simulation, dynamic inertia simulation, and regenerative braking simulation. The objective of the test data includes information as to how the brake is wearing in order to determine how it could be improved.

Current Technological Uncertainities


Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) implementation and simulation in real time

  • Normally testing of the brakes of an F1 vehicle would be on a Dynamometer to measure torque and rotational speed of an engine, motor or other rotating prime mover so power can be calculated.
  • Starting with a Dynamometer, developing a replacement control system using HIL. The uncertainty is from doing this in real-time.
  • The system needs to update the test rig 2,000 times every second, which would require extremely fast processors and complex software if this is possible in real-time.

Accurate simulation of real inertia

Factors to consider in the simulation:

  • New Formula 1 vehicles have Kinetic Energy Recovery (KERS) System and regenerative breaking which will change the effect of the braking.
  • In F1 cars the driver will use both the brake and the accelerator at the same time in order to keep the vehicle stable in a turn, leading to a different patter of use.

In a normal scenario a dynamometer simulation is run to a set rpm and then the brakes are slammed on, we need to go further by:

  • Keeping the motor running at the same time as slamming the brake on.
  • Speeding the motor to achieve an even harder braking effort.
  • Create varying degrees of inertia to simulate changes in variables, eg. size of the vehicle, gradient the vehicle is moving at.

Baseline Technological Knowledge

This is a form of vehicle testing that did not previously exist and so we sort to develop a low-level electronics and software controlled systems to achieve a solution, and a limited number of companies have started to use dynos to achieve simulations of F1 vehicles, as opposed to consumer vehicles. The F1 marketplace is extremely competitive and so the methods and technologies are kept as closely guarded secrets, so independent research and development was required.

The knowledge developed here was not readily deducible due by our competent professionals as this uses a recent development of software and is a new application for it.



Results from the Actions Taken to Overcome the Uncertainities

  • Considerable brainstorming, conceptualisation, and experimentation on how the test rig would work.
  • Development and trademarking of a new system to test all the possible permutations of use of these new technologies without having to put a driver into a car on a track.

Hardware-In-the-Loop (HIL) implementation and simulation in real time

  • Worked out how to get the HIL code to work with this type of machine and application.
  • Development the front-end user interface to allow users to not only execute tests but to also create them.
  • Use of new hardware and development new types of electronics which has not been used for this type of application before.

Accurate simulation of real inertia

  • Integration of the mathematics involved in calculating inertia into software considering a variety of variables through a modified Davis Equation.
  • Adoption of an iterative process of trial and error for the creation of scenario algorithms, by testing each iteration on a test bed before it can be built up and added to the software of the main system.
  • Creation of a system to simulate different inertias with two ways of working:
    • Cyclic Testing to test, tune and retest.
    • Global F1 Track Tests to collect info from live track test and then trying to simulate them.


  • Increasing the accuracy of the simulation of wear on the brakes and further tuning of the hardware so that the motors decelerate with exactly the required speed of reaction,
  • Advance in the field of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering particularly relating to regenerative braking and seeking to make an appreciable improvement over existing F1 test rigs.
  • Extension into worldwide transport development with electrification of vehicles and their huge impact in the area of braking and regenerative energy collection.


Similar Projects

  • Research and Development for a variety of industries, sectors, and organisations such as the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education and Cranfield University.
  • Brake Test Rigs for brake cooling power units, friction testing, F1 Brake Dyno testing and other applications.
  • Automotive Projects including data acquisition and control systems, Autosport racing calliper test rig and battery monitoring systems.


Paul Riley

Certified LabView Architect

MD and Lead Software Developer at CCS

Tel: +44 (0)1926 485532

Email: paul@ccsln.com

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