German team takes aerodynamic advantage from the BMW Group wind tunnel into the Biathlon World Championships.

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Munich. As mobility partner, the BMW Group provides
the DSV biathlon squad with electric cars. Early last summer, the
collaboration was expanded to incorporate the transfer of technology
from automotive research and development. For the first time, BMW
enabled the German biathletes to carry out tests in a wind tunnel. The
standing shoot was simulated, analysed and optimised in a wide range
of wind conditions in the BMW Group Aerolab. You can find more
information on those tests, as well as image and video material, in
the BMW Group PressClub: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global/article/detail/T0420779EN/

In dialogue with the aerodynamic experts at the BMW Group, the focus
of preparations for the BMW IBU Biathlon World Championships, which
begin today in Nove Mesto (CZE), shifted to include equipment and how
to optimise it, in addition to the athletes themselves. The goal was
to improve the aerodynamics of the rifle, in order to be able to hold
it more stable in a side wind, and thus to increase accuracy.

Holger Gau, Head of Aerodynamics Mid-Range BMW, and his team took
exactly the same approach as they apply to their everyday business –
the aerodynamic optimisation of vehicles. “As we do when developing a
car, we used a computer simulation to sound out the aerodynamic
extremes. In a second step, we then sat down with our colleagues at
DSV Biathlon to consider what could be implemented and what could be
done to improve the equipment,” said Gau. The results of these
considerations were then tested in the wind tunnel to confirm their effectiveness.

Karlheinz Waibel, DSV National Science and Technology Coach, is not
yet prepared to discuss details. “The big challenge is to improve
aerodynamics – and performance in general – without showing the
opposition what we are doing. Otherwise, it will not be long before it
is copied,” said Waibel. One thing he is sure of is that the
technology transfer from the BMW Group is definitely a plus for the
German team: “When you look at the races, and how close they are at
the finish, then these nuances can make the difference – mentally too.
It gives the athlete a psychological advantage to know they have
material that the opposition definitely does not have.”

The BMW IBU Biathlon World Championships open on Wednesday afternoon
with the mixed relay. The final two races, the men’s and women’s mass
starts, take place on Sunday 18th February.

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