Tuesday, July 1, 2008

4th out of 55 and we won design!

Sorry about the delay here folks, we've been a bit time-limited recently and currently don't have a very fast internet connection. However, I wanted to let you all know about what's been happening so far. The Endurance Race in Fontana last Saturday was filled with lots of excitement and a bit of dissapointment. Driving Team Leader Andy Gryczan headed out for the first half of the race and was running fast for about 5 laps, at which point he discovered that he couldn't shift out of 1st gear. However, thanks to his driving experience, he continued his remaining 5 laps and brought the car in for the mandatory mid-point driver change, signaling to second driver Brandon Goad that he only had first gear to drive in.

Brandon headed out onto the track and ran his full ten laps in that one gear, passing multiple teams in the process. He brought Car 51 back into the pits to complete the Endurance race running, as we later found out, faster lap times that a lot of the teams at the venue. Combined, both drivers earned MSU a 5th place finish in Endurance.

Following the race, Chief Scrutineer Michael Royce directed us to bring Car 51 to a post-race technical inspection, to make sure that we weren't cheating. Car 51 passed, and we headed off to clean her up and prepare for Design Finals. Three hours later, finals were over and we had a brief chanace to relax. I say brief, because head Design Judge Mike O'Neil then called all of the finalists (MSU, Western Washington University, University of Washington) back to the garage for a public review. Mike first spoke about the importance of design and what the judges were looking for out of each team, and then hopped off of the table to announce the 3rd place team. He headed towards Car 51 and then turned around to face Western Washington. After he was finished, he then turned towards us again and followed this up by a 180 degree rotation to announce that University of Washington was the 2nd place finisher. Finally, he came to Car 51 and announced that by far, she was the best-designed car at the event, giving MSU our first ever win in the Design event. He specifically cited the team's advanced powertrain development as an extremely strong point. Powertrain Mechanical Team Leader Andy Gryczan beaming.

Later that evening, we sat through an outdoor awards ceremony in which our Faculty Advisor, Dr. Gary "Doc" Cloud received mention of his recently-awarded SCCA Carroll Smith Mentors Cup for the Best Advisor in Formula SAE. The title is named after world-renouned race car engineer and ardent FSAE supporter Carroll Smith and is given annually to the team advisor most-worthy of the title. It is a true honor and all of us on the team, past members and present, thank him for all that he does and congradulate him on this recognition.

We knew that the results of the competition were going to be close, but even we were surprised when SAE Collegiate Program Manager Steve Daum announced that we placed 4th overall. As much as we want to win, the cards just didn't fall in-line for us on this one, and 4th place isn't too shabby, especially considering that this event had 80 teams registered for it. Just for the record, we were only 20 points out of 1000 possible away from finishing in 1st.

Here are the results broken down by event:

Cost/Manufacturing: 21st
Presentation: 6th
Design: 1st

Acceleration: 11th
Skidpad: 14th
Autocross: 9th
Endurance/Fuel Economy: 5th

Overall: 4th

Addtional accolades were received by receiving the Honda Design Award and an honorable mention from Altair Engineering for the William R. Adam Engineering Excellence Award. This was given to us as a result of Team Leader Paul Strefling's Chassis optimizer.

It's very late as I post this and the internet connection here is quite slow, so i'll post some pictures and more updates tomorrow.


1 comment:

Abs said...

Hey team,
I've been following the blog and the results, and a big congrats for your finishes in general, but especially design! That rocks!
Abigail Cloud (Doc's daughter)