Accelerating with Bugatti – Motorsport Noise Monitoring

When the Bugatti Owners’ Club established itself in 1929, its members didn’t really have too much to worry about when it came to issues such as road congestion and noise. But just as cars have moved on with the times so has the Club. The Club applies a strict noise level threshold for competing cars at their renowned meetings on Prescott Hill near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Here is a case study all about motorsport noise monitoring.

A sports car being measured for motorsport noise monitoring

Cirrus Environmental has been working closely with the Club over recent years using a CR245/3 environmental noise monitor to record noise levels on their challenging hill climb track. This necessitates maximum engine output, as well as driver expertise to complete.

Recommended by the Environmental Manager for Brands Hatch, the Club knew that the CR245/3 had already worked effectively at a number of other high profile race tracks in the UK, but had not been applied to HillClimb or Sprint venues in the UK.

Preparing for Motorsport Noise Monitoring

The monitor is positioned at the point where there is likely to be maximum acceleration, which is approximately 80 meters from the start line. The motorsport noise monitoring equipment linked to the venue’s timing software and automatically provides a noise measurement of each competing vehicle.

The Club currently applies a ‘drive-by’ limit  of 104 dB(A). Any cars going over this limit are  subject to an individual static half-metre test with failing cars not permitted to compete at the venue.

Justin Barker, Sales Manager from Cirrus Environmental, says: “The Club is being very proactive rather than reactive and making sure that they avoid excessive noise levels. Any member’s cars that exceed their limit don’t get to race – it is that simple.”

Cirrus Environmental ensured the motorsport noise monitoring equipment was bespoke for the Club, particularly in the way it communicates the data. “The software was set up to record all the activity from the noise monitor and had to be connected to the existing software with all the timings for the track,” added Justin. “This ensured that there was no disruption at all with the link up of the existing software.”

Cirrus Environmental was also able to offer added value with initial training for the Club to ensure organisers had a full understanding of how the motorsport noise monitors work from day one.

Ian Patton, General Manager from the Club said: “We like using the equipment on many levels as it is simple to use, heavy duty and reliable. It minimises the amount of work that we have to do when it comes to measuring noise and provides a robust and accurate record of each event’s noise levels.”

Not Just for Motorsport Noise Monitoring

Other advantages of the CR:245/3  is that it is fully weatherproof, so even when it is raining the equipment can be used. A distinct advantage with the English climate. It can also operate in temperatures as low as -10o C but up to +50o C.

The CR:245/3 is a versatile instrument and, as well as race circuits, can be used in a wide range of measurement situations including:

  • Construction Noise Monitoring
  • Power Station Noise Monitoring
  • Airport and Aircraft Noise Monitoring
  • Factories and Large Industrial Sites
  • Product Development and Research

When testing in these situations the CR:245/3 can be used as both a semi-permanent noise monitor to provide medium term measurements or as a fully mobile instrument to respond to specific noise complaints and problems. As well as monitoring levels generated by specific noise sources, the CR:245/3 is used for the measurement of continuous noise levels such as urban road traffic and city noise.

The CR:245/3 has been so successful at Prescott Hill that the Club are considering the purchase of a second portable monitor.