Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Review of Formula SAE @ MIS

Below is a short video re-capping the Formula SAE competition at Michigan International Speedway and some pictures from Saturday's Endurance race. Please stay tuned in as we continue our pledge-raising Race for a Cause campaign for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan and send out updates from testing sessions and the trip out to California for Formula SAE West!

Thank you all for joining us for this past competition; we hope that you enjoyed the updates (though they've been a bit late...sorry!). Further, we would like to extend a special thanks to all of Car 51's sponsors and friends and family that were able to stop by and see us at MIS.

If you would like any high-resolution versions of the pictures seen here; please do not hesitate to email me at

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast@FSAEWest,


The 2008 Formula SAE Endurance track at Michigan International Speedway

In line for Endurance

First Endurance Driver Andy Gryczan waiting for the green flag to head onto the track

And the competition is on! The University of Stuttgart chases Andy down

Andy Navigating a chicane

Our second driver, Brandon Goad, taking off on one of his first few laps

And the pushrod begins to buckle. Unfortunately, you can see the body start to drag here.

Brandon's last lap; traversing onto the flat section of the track from the banked corner, you can see the left front wheel over an inch off of the ground due to the right rear pushrod having yielded a significant amount.

A bit less somber of times; at the semi prior to Endurance.

On Friday; Andy and Suspension Team Leader Jordan Smart watch on as our first Skidpad runs were being run.

Hi Matthew, we hope that you're feeling better!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pictures from Friday

Below are some pictures of team members and from Friday's dynamic events: Acceleration, Skidpad and Autocross. Thanks to all those who came out on Friday to visit and watch!

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast,


Braking System Team Leader Richard Hollern making sure that his system is ready to race

Driveline Team Leader Kyle Bateman receiving some tips prior to his first Skidpad

Waiting in line to race

Suspension Team Leader Jordan Smart at the front of the Acceleration line

...and the launch!

The field of cars at Autocross. When we say Formula SAE is big, we really mean it. 120 registered teams; 106 of which actually attended competition.

Lead Driver Brandon Goad helping Powertrain Mechanical & Driving Team Leader Andy Gryczan get ready for his first Autocross lap

He's off!

Andy navigating his way through a slalom

Just a nice shot showing Brandon's helmet and Car 51's beautiful body

Brandon relaxing a bit before MSU's 2nd Autocross run

Serious. Sort of...

Running a bit before us was long-time MSU ally: The University of Florida

Also a couple spots ahead were our new friends from TU Delft. They tested with us just prior to competition and were a lot of fun to hang out with.

Final wipe-off prior to Brandon's run

Brandon coming down the back straight away

Looking ahead to the next turn

...and taking it with ease

Brandon's final lap

Just a nice side-profile shot. Isn't Matthew cute? We received numerous compliments on the photographs on the sides of Car 51's nose.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A few pictures...

I apologize; I haven't had time to post up the final updates on competition yet, so to tie all of you over, here are a few pictures from Friday and Saturday's dynamic events.


Driveline Team Leader Kyle Bateman on the Skidpad
**Photograph courtesy of Julian Choquette

Powertrain Mechanical & Driving Team Leader Andrew Gryczan during Endurance
**Photograph courtesy of Racing Maniac

Lead Driver Brandon Goad during the second leg of Endurance
**Photograph courtesy of Racing Maniac

A bit closer view of Car 51's nose featuring the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan pictoral
**Photograph courtesy of Racing Maniac

Friday, May 16, 2008

Design, Cost and Presentation

Arriving back at the race track at 7:30 am on Thursday morning, team members worked hard to get the car cleaned and prepared for a long day of Static events. For those not familiar with Formula SAE, Thursday is the day that teams are grueled on the design of each car, the cost and manufacturability strategies and the marketing presenting. As I write this, the only scores that have been posted are the Cost/Manufacturing event. This event went very well for MSU; with team members Hillary Gregory and Jamie Yeung gathering 100% of the points possible in presenting their research projects on the manufacturing of oil filters and fuel injectors. Additionally, we earned another 100% point score in describing our lean manufacturing strategies to the judges.

Don't forget: tomorrow is the day of Endurance, so please join the team at MIS at 9:00 am for breakfast and a chance to see Car 51 run the endurance course. This is also the first time that Car 51 will be collecting pledge dollars as part of our Race for a Cause program to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. So please come and join us for food, some racing and see Car 51 with her beautiful Make-A-Wish adorned body, featuring Matthew, a special wish-kid.

In addition to a few photos, we have uploaded a video to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Thats all for now, as I am running really short on time. I'll post more updates as Friday's events; Autocross, Acceleration, and Skid-pad, go on. Also, a bigtThanks to SAE for the Wi-Fi access that makes updating from the track possible!

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast,



Team at the Design Event

Cockpit Team Leader Elizabeth Carroll discusses Car 51's ergonomics with a judge

Scrutineering and Static Events

Sorry about my delay in posting, folks.

Team members Hillary Gregory, Jamie Yeung, Marcus McDuffie and I arrived at MIS early on Wednesday morning to meet the trailer and our driver, Jerry Huehl, and get the paddock set-up. Cold and rain, typical of this competition, plagued teams yet again who arrived on Wednesday. Thankfully, the majority of our set-up took place inside of our trailer, so we only had to deal with damp, cold conditions, as opposed to drenched ones.

The racecar and remainder of the team arrived late in the morning, and we finished paddock set-up and headed to our first event: Scrutineering (also known as Technical Inspection). This event is the first event that teams must go through upon arriving at each Formula SAE competition. Essentially, Scrutineering is simply a check as to whether or not each vehicle is safe and compliant with the rules.

Thankfully, there weren't any big problems with Car 51, but we did have to modify a few small items. One did require some welding, and, as it was late in the day on Wednesday when we left the event, we decided to complete the changes back at the shop in Okemos.

Below are a few pictures from the first day, enjoy!

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast.


Our home for the next several days: Michigan International Speedway

View from inside the trailer

A Good representation of Wednesday's weather

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Start o' the Season

Last year, I began Car 9's competition blog the first night of the Formula SAE competition. However, this year, my intention had been to begin it much, much sooner. Unfortunately, other responsibilities reared their heads and thus here we are. Even though I have to be up in a couple of hours to drive to Michigan International Speedway for the first day of comp, I wanted to begin this blog tonight - it's still the eve of our first competition, and thus, one night earlier than last year.

The last several weeks have been spent testing Car 51 to prepare for one of the World's most intense engineering competitions: Formula SAE. Over the next several days, the team will battle with other schools from around the globe at the wonderful track in Brooklyn, Michigan for the title that most competitors want more than any other, that of Formula SAE Champion. Colleges from all over the United States and nearly 15 other countries on our planet have sent some of their greatest collegiate talent to this competition, all of whom have (and this I can say from personal experienece) given up nearly all rememberances of socializing, and completing any classwork, in an effort to make their creation; their 2008 Formula SAE car, the best in the world.

I'll leave you with an open invitation to come and join us this week at MIS. The competition begins tomorrow, but the racecars don't actually start moving until Friday and Saturday. However, any day that you can make it, please stop by and see us and our fellow collegiate competitors; I'm sure they would be just as excited to show you their cars as we are to talk with you about Car 51.

Go Green. Go White. Go Fast,


**Here are some snapshots to keep you occupied until tomorrow evening. All were taken during our recent testing at one of Car 51's Gold sponsors; Goodyear Tire and Rubber, in Akron, Ohio. A special thanks to all of the fine volunteers at Goodyear for having us down!

***Edit: Apparently and Safari don't get along too well, as I cannot upload any pictures. Check back tomorrow night and I'll have them up by then.