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Thread: 2016 Formula Student UK (FSUK)

  1. #21
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    Is this what FSAE has really come to? Arguing over wing sizes being 1-3mm more than tolerance in respect to a freaking piece of rubber? I guarantee you that there's at least 1mm difference between tires, hell there might even be that much difference around the tire... No offense to the judges and scrutineers at FSUK, but this sounds like some political BS that we see in professional motorsports. It's just so backwards what everyone is focused on here.

    I guarantee that I could go through the paddock and DQ every single car if I looked hard enough/long enough. This isn't supposed to be NASCAR, and I fear everyone is losing sight of what the competition is about because they're upset that finally after 30 years teams have figured out the way to win these events.
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports
    2010-2014

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
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  2. #22
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    sounds like tech should be using a FARO arm to check for wing compliance
    Formula SAE: When you just can't get rid of a girlfriend.

  3. #23
    Trent,

    I understand and respect what you're saying, but why do teams feel the need to design to the limit, anyway? Making the wing smaller by a few mm to ensure absolute compliance is pretty easy and won't significantly affect performance. I support some kind of harsh penalty for teams who aren't compliant, although a DQ is going a bit too far.
    Cole Easterling
    Brendon & Lawrence Mfg.
    2011-2012 TAMU FH/FSAE

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by theTTshark View Post
    Is this what FSAE has really come to? Arguing over wing sizes being 1-3mm more than tolerance in respect to a freaking piece of rubber? I guarantee you that there's at least 1mm difference between tires, hell there might even be that much difference around the tire... No offense to the judges and scrutineers at FSUK, but this sounds like some political BS that we see in professional motorsports. It's just so backwards what everyone is focused on here.

    I guarantee that I could go through the paddock and DQ every single car if I looked hard enough/long enough. This isn't supposed to be NASCAR, and I fear everyone is losing sight of what the competition is about because they're upset that finally after 30 years teams have figured out the way to win these events.

    Time to break out the inspection laser station and templates...
    Just suspend the crew chief for a race, fine the team, and take away 15 points. Seem relevant.


    Honestly, if the car was pre-inspected at cold tire pressures and post-inspected at hot tire pressures, that's enough to be your difference right there.
    Kettering University Vehicle Dynamics
    Formula SAE 2010 - 2015
    Clean Snowmobile Powertrain 2012 - 2015

    Boogityland 2015 - Present

  5. #25
    Kev,

    No offence taken at all. We're all here to exchange opinions. I would also like to point out that I am not involved with the Delft team anymore at all, so I do not feel that a competition was "stripped from me". As you can read on the first page of this topic I was even one of the few to defend to organisation's decision to disqualify the teams involved.

    If you're talking about a car presented to technical inspection prior to the event, I agree: the team wants to participate at an event so they need to prove compliance to the rules. In post-race scrutineering however, I am of the opinion that this is turned around. The team have already proven compliance before the race and the scrutineers expressed their satisfaction with that. It is possible that after the race, for whatever reason (intentional or not) the car is no longer compliant. But it is up to the scrutineer to prove so with high confidence. Otherwise you could just as well save the time and effort and reduce scrutineering prior to the event to safety things only. Let's not check whether a team has displayed their car number and just disqualify them afterwards if not. It's their own responsibility anyway. Right?


    Regarding the measurement itself:

    The statement from Delft quotes a deviation on the left side and the right side. This implies that the scrutineer didn't just measure the width of the tyres and the width of the wing, but even determined the relative position of the wing end plates with respect to the tyre walls. And this measurement should be taken using the car's longitudinal/lateral axes as a reference. You cannot use the tyre wall, or the wing end plate, or the front axle as a reference because they may deviate from the car's axes. Then how can you take this measurement so accurately?

    Maybe it is possible and I'm just not inventive enough. But that's why I'm voicing my opinion.


    I believe it would be to everyone's benefit if a statement could be made by the organisation regarding the following two points:
    1. How accurate do they believe their own measurements to be and do they feel the teams should take this into account in their design?
    2. Having seen what happened at FSUK, do they consider the rules (comparing aero dimensions to rubber) to be somewhat problematic and will they consider rewriting these rules in the future?


    Again I want to repeat myself and stress that I agree to all of the following points: if a car is found to be non-compliant then a disqualification is just; it is the team's responsibility to be compliant at all times and in all conditions; if a team chooses to be on the limit then they knowingly take a risk. BUT, if you're going to disqualify someone then you need to be damn sure about what you're doing.

    All of this is my personal opinion and not necessarily that of the Delft team.

    I just hope all parties (teams and organisers) are willing to learn from this situation.

    Cheers,
    Jasper
    Last edited by JasperC; 07-20-2016 at 02:31 PM.
    DUT Racing Team (Delft) 2008-2010

  6. #26
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    Jasper,

    I think we are on the same page. The problem would not be with the tape measure, but more with how it was used and what other reference points were considered. This is in keeping with the second possible objection and the only really valid one.

    It would be pretty easy to measure relative width w.r.t. the tyre using another reference such as a string line. I doubt this would have been used, and as I mentioned before, anyone not present wouldn't be able to accurately comment on the measuring procedure. I would think that the reason both sides were measured was to account for any toe, which indicates some reasonable procedure may have been in effect. If the team was of the belief that the measurement was in error it would have been reasonable to show compliance through a better measuring method.

    I agree with the posters stating that measuring the wing compared to the tyres is not the best way the intended effect of the rule should have been implemented. The intention was to force a design compromise, but a hard width/height box independent of tyres would be much easier to inspect. However even with the current rules it wouldn't be difficult to create a jig for measuring distance relative to the tyres. Parallel arms, pair of adjustable toe plates, calibrated laser lines, etc. There is even an ensured free box around the wheels to allow for jig setup. With the right reference in place a tape measure will do the job fine.

    Kev

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by coleasterling View Post
    Trent,

    I understand and respect what you're saying, but why do teams feel the need to design to the limit, anyway? Making the wing smaller by a few mm to ensure absolute compliance is pretty easy and won't significantly affect performance. I support some kind of harsh penalty for teams who aren't compliant, although a DQ is going a bit too far.
    Right back at you Cole! I get what you're saying, but then you'll have some judge asking you why you didn't build your car to the maximum allotment. And plus rules are rules, go right up to them and get as much as you can. If during inspection they go, "hey this won't work" say okay and fix it, but this is a whole other bag of worms. It was much easier to build to the limit when all you had to do was make sure your overall wing width was within your measurement and centered on the car. These DQs are the direct result of vague rules that never should have been implemented but were because people are mad that teams have finally figured out the winning formula for these events. These rules are the direct result of the rules committee trying to decrease the effectiveness of running wings, the problem is that the competition events are still the same. So it's not like your lap time simulator is going to tell you to suddenly not have as much downforce. What you end up with are teams that are building to the limit of the rules just as they were before to try and maximize downforce, but now you have measurements that can be skewed even more easily than they could with the old rules depending on who does it and when. Something similar nearly happened to Missouri S&T in 2013 or 2014 at Lincoln post-endurance for their rear wing endplate distance behind the rear tire. It ended up that the scrutineers were using a plumbob off the rear endplate on an non-level concrete floor! I just am speaking out because if a competition is going to start calling out teams for this, then there's going to have to be a whole level of "how much under the limit is safe" type of approach to designing these cars. Which at that point do you have to assume being safe by 3mm on ever measurement? So then I ask what's the point of the rules as they are written if I have to assume an arbitrary length modifier because Joe uses his tape measure differently than Jane? Should we have every FS/FSAE scrutineer measure 60 objects so that teams can build cars to the person who is the most out of tolerance? At that point we are treading in some very dangerous water.

    Now I know what I will hear in return. "The scruiteneers are just volunteers you can't expect them to be that accurate." I answer that two-fold. 1) The teams aren't professionals either, so why hold them to such a standard if you can't hold your event staff to those same standards? 2) Don't make the rules so complicated and easily manipulated then.

    Ultimately several student run teams ended up having a competition ruined over a very inaccurate measurement. I think it is very interesting how Michigan had no issues with this despite just as many teams building wings to the limit of the rules. Sorry for this post being such a brain dump, but it's really frustrating to see a student competition come to this.
    Last edited by theTTshark; 07-20-2016 at 03:06 PM.
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports
    2010-2014

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
    Opinions Are My Own

  8. #28
    During my time on GFR in 13 and 14, I participated in 7 events and was directly involved in the car's tech inspections and parc ferme inspections. I don't think we ever left parc ferme without some system or component of our car being inspected for rules compliance after endurance. I think we had to re-test noise in 4 of those events, check our BOTS in 2, check our aero in 3, re-weigh our car in 3 or 4, reinspect our driver gear in 1, check rollover helmet clearance in 1, inspect the air restrictor in 5 (likely would have been 7 but we had 2 endurance DNFs), and retested driver egress in 1. We won 5 of 7 of those events so I came to expect that if you are likely to win or place in an event, your car and driver are going to under extra scrutiny for rules compliance.

    That said, there are some stated or unstated 'squish' zones for rules compliance. A stated example would be overall weight change of 5kg being allowed because of tire wear etc and an unstated example might be it is ok for your driver to no longer wear their helmet and head sock as they get pushed back to the pit.

    I wasn't at the UK comp, so I don't think I can comment on this specific set of rules DQs because everything I know about the situation is here-say. I just thought my personal experience might help others broaden their view of what happens to the podium-competitive teams at a normal FS competition.
    Jay Swift
    Combustion Powertrain
    Global Formula Racing 2013-2014

  9. #29
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    Trent,

    There were professional scrutineers present and volunteering.

    Kev

  10. #30
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    Ahmad,

    Your Team has taken the first step, which is always necessary if you want to get anywhere!

    Judging by photos of your car, I would say your Team is heading in the right general direction. Your final step as this year's Team is to try to ensure that there is good "knowledge transfer" to next year's Team.

    Namely:
    1. At a big-picture level, try to convince next year's team that a simple car, built early, and well tested = much higher finishing position than "highly optimised mini-F1 car" ... that doesn't run....
    2. At detail level, stress that good Team-member skills in things like welding, bleeding brakes (!), and use of provenly good prior-art techniques such as REIB, will get you much higher up the ladder than endless iterations of CAD, FEA, CFD, etc., on a computer screen.

    And make all your next year Team members read every word written by Big Bird.

    Ahh, how I would enjoy building Geoff's "Anti-Technology-Special". Minimalist tube-frame car on sticky 10" Hoosiers. A super-reliable sub-30 hp air-cooled-single with NO gearbox, just a big clutch. Driven with right foot mostly flat to the floor...

    Seeing the number of poor endurance scores in FSUK-16, I reckon above well-driven ATS would be easy top-ten!
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Kevin,

    Obviously, TOO MANY VALVES!

    I am sure your next car will be better in that respect... And I still think it should be able to challenge for top spot in a Euro comp.

    Also tough about Monash breaking a drive-shaft. Would have been good to see both Oz cars showing their true potential.
    ~~~o0o~~~

    Bemo,

    Although I'm not happy about what happened in UK, I believe that teams should start to understand that first of all it is their task to make sure the car is rules compliant at any stage of the competition.
    The problem is that the Rules are so badly written that the above is impossible.

    (And please note that this is not an attack on yourself or other Scrutineers, because you are the unfortunate "meat in the sandwich" between the stupidly written Rules, and the students who suffer the consequences.)

    Specifically, and not necessarily related to FSUK-16, I would like to know how you have scrutineered cars with respect to the "bent tube" Rule T3.5.5. Here is my last post pointing out the stupidity of this Rule.
    http://www.fsae.com/forums/showthrea...l=1#post123486

    Assuming T3.5.5 is still part of the Rule Book (I have been away for a while, so may have missed changes?), I see three possible outcomes of the Scrutineering process.
    1. The Rule is strictly enforced, as per my linked post above, and ALL tubeframe cars (that I have ever seen) fail scrutineering and cannot compete.
    2. All the Scrutineers at any given competition agree beforehand to ignore the Rule, because it is so STUPID.
    3. The Rule is enforced on an ad hoc basis, with some some cars arbitrarily being passed, others arbitrarily failed.

    None of the above approaches is conducive to "engineering education". In fact, quite the opposite. But the Rules Committee have been rock-solid in their support of T3.5.5, and have refused to discuss these issues openly, let alone admit that T3.5.5 is a huge cock-up that should be fixed (namely by deleting the stupidity!).

    Anyway, I would like to know if you have failed any cars that have three tubes in the XYZ configuration as in the linked post?
    If not, then why not?

    Z

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