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Thread: 2016 FSAE-A Australasian Competition

  1. #11
    All the teams have to get together in unison and say 'no'. The strength of numbers will force them to do the right thing and go back to cones.

    (Hi there, first post here. I'm with the Griffth Uni team.)

  2. #12
    I'm also not a big fan of the tyre gate idea. Seems like one step forward and two steps back. The Calder track is long enough that there should be plenty of time between cars to pick cones up safely, so no judges should be put in danger. As has already been said, more danger now applies to the drivers than the volunteers.

    Calder also seemed to produce very different track styles to that seen in FS and FSG, the track layout was much more varied so it was more challenging for the drivers to nail it every time. I wonder if the track layout is going to be brutally simplified by large tyre gates and whether the track will be more akin to long slaloms?

    If the organisers are having trouble finding enough volunteers, perhaps enforce a minimum number of volunteers from each team that should help in the large events (autocross and endurance). I don't think there would be issues with marshalls being biased for their teams' benefit, but others might have a problem with it.

    On a more positive note, how are the teams going?! Based on Facebook updates, most teams are transferring components across to their new cars, pretty much everyone has a completed chassis it seems... but only Wollongong have announced they'd hit the track. Any teams laying quiet?

    UTAS are one component short of a rolling chassis, and aiming for a testable platform in 4-5 weeks time. No doubt this'll be pushed back in typical UTAS fashion

    Really excited for this year's comp. 36 teams!
    Adam Flower
    Head Engineer, 2015, 2016
    Ergonomics Team Leader, 2014
    UTAS Motorsport
    Tasmania

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Adman View Post
    If the organisers are having trouble finding enough volunteers, perhaps enforce a minimum number of volunteers from each team that should help in the large events (autocross and endurance). I don't think there would be issues with marshalls being biased for their teams' benefit, but others might have a problem with it.
    Some history of the discussions I had in 2014 with the organisers:

    The size of Calder and shortage of marshals was one of the reasons they pushed for the tyre bundles in 2014. Teams offered to supply members to marshal but were declined due to issues with perceived impartiality when counting cone hits.

    The other reason was setting up the concrete barriers for the marshals which were suitable for both autocross and endurance. An example of this was the turn coming down the hill.

    Some counter points were the marshalling point could be moved between events - but the organisers said this was not practical with their equipment. Also the location for autocross marshalling point would be in a sand trap which the organisers believed was not an acceptable place for a marshal to operate. Therefore they would not budge on these tyre bundles and they were retained as per the picture I posted from the 2014 competition.

    I guess safety is viewed differently in different organisations, etc - but the impact of an injury would be serious for FSAE in Australia in my opinion. I know my team as struggled with insurance to operate track days, etc in recent years - how much harder would this be if a person was injured at competition - would universities re-consider their support?. This would be especially frustrating if occoured due to an easily avoidable reason. I would be interested in how many teams have actually read the fine print of their universities insurance policies to see if/ or how far their cover extends. Are drivers/team members covered on test days(on and off campus?), for completing composite work, etc.

    I have had discussions with plenty of people (mostly across Subsea/O&G) regarding safety and why is it such a large issue. Overall it boils down to - it safes Money - all the time doing JHA/JSAs, step backs, QRAs, HAZIDs, HAZOBs, etc saves money in the long run. And for FSAE the cheaper the competition the more viable it is.
    Curtin Motorsport Team
    2011 - 2014

  4. #14
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    But why is it cheaper? There isn't as much 'lost income' time in FSAE...
    ex-UWA Motorsport

    General team member 2013-15, Vehicle Dynamics Team Lead 2012
    Project Manager 2011, Powertrain minion 2009/10

  5. #15
    Teams that run in the afternoon (e.g. the fast ones) send 3 marshals each into the morning session and vice versa. With that you ensure that they don't "gain" a lot from cheating.
    Each post is set with people from multiple teams. That even helps to increase the bond between all teams, yey!

    Come on, this is FSAE, not Formula One. Be fair to each other, damn it.
    Only this year, at FSG my old team gave away their AutoX victory because they protested themselves that they had a cone in the (no longer) winning lap.
    And at FSS, Karlsruhe gave up their 2nd place Overall because they informed the organizers themselves that their was something wrong with their Endruance timing.


    Make sure that those damn tracks are safe. And don't subdue yourself to the organizers. If the track is unsafe, you frickin' don't drive!
    -------------------------------------------
    Alumnus
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

    2010-2011: Suspension
    2012: Aerodynamics
    2013: Technical Lead

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  6. #16
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    If I understand the picture correctly Autocross and Endurance were run in opposite directions therefore there were the different run-off areas right? If it would be too much of an issue to move the marshal barriers between the events, just run them in the same direction...

    Or you put the marshals somewhere you don't need to hide them behind concrete barriers. At Germany and Austria marshals don't have concrete barriers, while they are on idle they just move to a safe spot from where they can observe the track properly.

    I've been at the Aus comp only once in 2008. Is it still the same venue? The track there was definitely not ideal to set up a track for FSAE cars, but it worked quite ok back then.

    If the number of marshals is such an issue, I think Julian's idea is worth a thought. To my experience if you ask them, teams are usually happy to help. During the last years at FSA the red shirts had to work for another hour or two after the award ceremony to clear the place. This year we asked the teams from Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and GFR to help us and we were done within ten minutes (one more time a big thank you to everyone involved!). And as others stated the level of fairness I usually observe at FSAE events is completely outstanding. I don't believe that people would actually cheat if you have them as track marshals. I'd still avoid having someone as marshal while his/her own car is running. Julian's concept is simple and would perfectly avoid that.

    It's a good thing the organisers are talking with the teams regarding these issues. You should try to use this chance to push them in the right directions by making proper suggestions which are thought through and properly explained.
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  7. #17
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    Slightly off topic, but still: to be honest, I'd be more worried about some sort of "reversed" bias than anything else at an FSAE event; people being more lenient towards all other teams than their own. But some suggestions in this thread could be used to minimize the risk for bias in either direction.
    __________________
    Fredrik Henriksson
    PhD Student at Linköping University

    ELiTH Racing 2009-2014
    Now: Grumpy old man and workplace safety lecturer

    Please note that my comments does not reflect the opinions or values of Linköping University, ELiTH Racing/LiU Formula Student or their related sponsors.

  8. #18
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    Bias or cheating of "student-marshals" is a NON-issue, IMO.

    Even under the current system of "independent" marshals, I expect that all top teams (ie. the ones with a shot at podium) would have multiple cameras videoing all their AutoX and Enduro runs. They would be doing this just for the publicity shots, ... or even just for fun. Of course, such video evidence is also handy if the final result is really close, and it seems that maybe an independent marshal made a small mistake (it happens!), and one cone is making the difference between first and second place, and the easiest way to resolve it all is simply to view the video...

    As for teams further down the ladder, well perhaps they don't have enough members or money to do the videoing? (Who does NOT own a video i-whatsit these days ... other than me?) But who is going to try to cheat a mid-level team? Maybe the team just behind them, but I doubt it. And the true tail-enders are just wishing they could get their car running so they can actually knock over some cones!
    ~o0o~

    As for a quota for "student-volunteers", I suggest one team-member, working for the full comp, per each ten official students on the team. (<- This just a round number to get things started.)

    So a really small team of only five students provides one volunteer for half the total hours of the comp. (This saves having to cut one student in half and then donating that half-body for the full comp. )

    A really big team of ~sixty students would have six students involved in "organising" duties for the whole comp. However, any of those six students could be exchanged with any other students from their team, at any time.

    So, say, Team-Big gets six "Official-Student-Volunteer" hats at the beginning of the comp, with these hats labelled "Team-Big, #N" (N = 1 to 6). The team then has to put a body under each of those hats throughout the whole comp. The organisers can then allocate the workforce by "hat-number", such as, "Team-A#2, Team-B#3, and Team-C#6, go to Marshalling-Station-7". (Of course, "hat" can be changed for "T-shirt", or "hi-vis-vest", or whatever.)

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 09-03-2016 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Spelling...

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    As for a quota for "student-volunteers", I suggest one team-member, working for the full comp, per each ten official students on the team. (<- This just a round number to get things started.)

    So a really small team of only five students provides one volunteer for half the total hours of the comp. (This saves having to cut one student in half and then donating that half-body for the full comp. )

    A really big team of ~sixty students would have six students involved in "organising" duties for the whole comp. However, any of those six students could be exchanged with any other students from their team, at any time.
    Exactly what I was thinking Z. Just get teams to volunteer marshals relative to the size of their team. You would not even need that many on top of the standard volunteers!
    Adam Flower
    Head Engineer, 2015, 2016
    Ergonomics Team Leader, 2014
    UTAS Motorsport
    Tasmania

  10. #20
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    (Non-Negotiable) "Student-Volunteers".
    =============================


    Even with a relatively small competition like Oz, the above quota of "one S-V per ten team members" means having about 50 to 100 bodies available for all sorts of jobs around the competition.

    Obviously, this is many more than are needed purely for marshalling, or most other "official" duties. But no problem, because the organisers can just pick as many S-Vs as are needed to do whatever work is needed at the time, and the rest of the S-Vs are "on call" (ie. available if needed, but can do other stuff if not needed).

    However, with such a large and FREE workforce available, there many smaller jobs that could be done that could make the whole competition much more enjoyable for everyone. For a start, I would have a half-dozen S-Vs manning a large barbecue so bacon/egg/sausage/onion+++ sandwiches are available all day. Each individual S-V only works one hour per day at the BBQ, with a rostering process cycling through all the "on-call" S-V workforce. This is how it works at many junior sports in Oz, with parents at Club-X, Team-Y being rostered for a given day, then splitting the hours between parents. Works well.

    Another possibility is a half-dozen S-Vs constantly updating a huge manual scoreboard. All points in the different events would be constantly updated, with the current top Team at the top of the board. This area would become the de-facto newsroom/information-centre/message-board, etc.

    Any other suggests for what you would do if you had such a large and free workforce?

    Z

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