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

+++ DSV Biathlon testing in the BMW Group Aerolab +++ Optimisations to standing position and material at the shooting range +++ BMW engineers supporting national biathlon team coaches +++ BMW is in its second season as mobility partner of the German National Biathlon Team +++

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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, here: 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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