Tough Finish at FSAE-Michigan

Posted by David Caples On July - 2 - 2012

The competition started out strong for us. We easily passed technical inspections with only minor vehicle adjustments. Design went extremely well, and we ultimately ended up placing 11th. We were informed by our design judges during our design review that we would have been the next car into design finals, had the car been a little lighter. Something we will definitely pursue for both Lincoln and next year! We also placed 25th and 58th in the Presentation and Cost events, respectively.

The car performed very well in the Acceleration event, winning 2nd place overall. However, in Skid Pad and Autocross, it was evident that the car’s setup was not tuned very well for the new, more slick, surface at MIS. The team placed 39th and 47th, respectively.

Overnight, the vehicle was adjusted and prepared for the Endurance. The car’s handling was much improved during the first stint of the Endurance; however the shifting system blew a fitting on lap 4, causing the vehicle to be stuck in second gear. At driver change, the car was looked over by the tech inspectors and cleared to continue, however the engine would not restart for the second driver. After further investigations, it appears as though the starter motor overheated and did not produce enough torque to turn the engine over. A full investigation will need to be launched into both issues prior to Lincoln.

The team left with disappointment at Michigan. However, the disappointment was not because the car wasn’t designed well, but rather the team knew it had just barely touched its potential. However, that disappointment rapidly turned into determination for the next competition, which was just over a month away. We ended up placing 48th overall out of 118 registered teams.

We would like to thank our sponsors for supporting us the entire year. This competition was a huge learning experience and the knowledge gained will be applied to Lincoln. We are definitely shooting for a top ten finish at Lincoln!

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