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Thread: 2002 Solo II Nationals

  1. #21
    Who's whining? I mereley stated that the lathe is WWII surplus (refurbished by the 1998 team). The point I was trying to make is that it's not the latest and greatest, and we have worked very hard to have the privelege of an in-house lathe. Now, the mill I was whining about, it's a real pain to use without quill feed, but I am very well aware that something is better than nothing. I am also very well aware that many teams have far less than we do. Some don't even have shop space on campus. In no way was I trying to minimize their plight. All I wanted to do was disspell any rumor that UTA operates on a Ferrari budget. Sincere apologies for any feathers I may have ruffled.

    On another subject, I would like some input from teams on their enthusiasm for going to SCCA Nationals, and what it would take to raise the level of enthusiasm enough to go to Nationals.The obvious downsides are cost and time. Entry is relatively expensive, it takes basically a full week of your time, and it's no fun to go to so much trouble only to get beaten (badly) by the A-mods.

    The upside is that it such a pleasant change from the FSAE competition. Very little pressure, much less formal, just plain racing and hanging out. There is national exposure to be had, and SCCA is now recognizing Formula SAE separately from the A-mods. Dr. Woods has spent the past few years trying to get our own class for Nationals, but the low FSAE turnout hasn't given him enough ammunition to warrant such a change. I don't know how many teams are aware that UTA held a driving weekend open to all schools. We drove in our lot on Saturday, andthen autocrossed on Sunday. We had more than 30 drivers in our class that weekend, the largest A-mod class our division has ever seen, and if I'm not mistaken, the largest A-mod class ever in SCCA history. From a business standpoint, I would think that SCCA would want to do everything they could do to get that kind of turnout at Nationals.

    Anyway, I would like to hear some feedback.


    Ken Hassler

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Richard Lewis:
    Wow, you guys have mills and a lathe? (actually I'm serious) Whining about a WWII surplus lathe really is falling on deaf ears here. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    _UVIC Formula SAE Team_

  2. #22
    Sorry Ken, I meant it in jest. (hence the [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] at the end) I guess it didn't come across that way.

    We are a 2nd year team now, and struggling every step of the way. We were repeatedly told that year two would be a lot easier than year one. And while I have no doubt that our final product will be vastly superior to our rookie car, everything else seems twice as hard to get done.

    Things like the nationals would be totally off limit to us from a budget standpoint unfortunately. (ie: travel expenses) But judging from the washington state autocross, local events like that can definately benefit FSAE teams a great deal. (unless of course you crash your car... ahem)

    Just for reference, we built a car (and a team, tools, lots of 1 time expenses, etc) for well under $15,000US last year. However, we placed 95th overall, and 6th among rookies. (which we weren't that happy with) Now I know that our budget is quite small by most standards, but you can do a lot, with a little... and I see no reason to assume that UTA has a crazy-huge budget, anymore than any other well established team.

    UVIC Formula SAE Team

    UVIC Formula SAE Team

  3. #23
    Hello Ken, Richard and Joe,

    Its good to finally hear from students and racers in addition to alums......

    Hey Ken, I have nothing but good things to say about UTAs program, read between the lines here guy!! My comments about recourses have little to do with cold hard cash. I think all would agree that UTA is a legacy team that has done an extremely good job at acquiring and maintaining knowledge and resources from year to year. This is quite commendable given that very few schools are able to accomplish this iteration and as a result try to reinvent the proverbial wheel every year.

    I think it takes $10-20K cash to build a formula car, but the infrastructure that accounts for test equipment and track time is, How you say....


    In fact, quick shout out to the Cal State Northridge team and Alums that put together a really great formula event at CSUN last Saturday!!
    I think there were 10 cars there.

    So call off the dogs there Ken, this is all in good fun!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    OK back to the tech/performance stuff.
    Ken, there is NO WAY you can tell me that Dr. Woods has not continued to improve and upgrade the 88 car, so make sure were talking apples to apples here. I bet the performance of his car is much improved over even 2 years ago, but you guys know that given the data you were recording with the on board systems that have been added to that car....
    As for the weight 530 vs. 570 (approximately), I merely reiterated the value that was given by the weight judges at nationals, but I think you guys were carrying a bunch of data acquisition goodies, so if you say 530, 530 it is!! Cal Poly's car was still 600+...YIKES!!

    Dr. Woods, the Phantom was 3-4 seconds faster than UTA and Cal Poly at Nationals this year, and you say that the 02 UTA car had another 3 seconds of untapped potential?? This coming from the man who has adamantly stated for years that FSAE cars are not competitive in A-mod, Oh but wait, you also used to say that aerodynamics don't work on FSAE cars, but I digress.....

    Finally to Joe,

    Yes I fully agree that underbody aero is not as effective as wings at low speed (that's why the Cal Poly cars had WINGS.... BIG WINGS) I merely stated that the underbody work is FREE if you can make it light enough for which UTA did a very good job!!)

    So I trust I have not offended anyone....and I look forward to further discussion.


  4. #24
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dr. Bob Woods:
    The level of the real A-mods increased this year which put some of the FSAE cars down a bit (at least the ones without wings). All cars had the restrictors in place. The UTA car with wings, F02, performed quite well. It is much lighter than the Cal Poly car. UTA's Ken Hassler was one place out of the trophies in A-mod, but received a trophy for being the fastest FSAE car in A-mod. UTA's Angie Hamilton won A-mod Ladies (in F02) against a real A-mod car.

    We are still working on getting our own class, but we need more people attending.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    RPI is working on getting out to Nationals next year, but the trip to Topeka and back during the first week of school isn't something we can convince our professors to let us miss class for, at least not yet.

    We were able to make it to the Northeast Division Championships this year, where we took 4th and 5th(out of 5). The 2 cars we competed against were all trophy winners at nationals. Bill Goodale in the yellow "Dragon F1", yellow framw, big wings front and rear, full length undertray, and an 1100cc 2 stroke. The other was Tyson Sawyer (with a co driver) in his 72 blue Super Vee. We were able to hang pretty close with those guys, as we have at other events over the summer.

    As for the discussion about suspension vs. chassis mounted aero, I must agree with the UTA folks, that the suspension mounting is a significant improvement. Comparing our 2001 car, which was chassis mounted front/rear/undertray to the 2002, suspension mounted front/rear/no undertray, we were able to see higher cornering speeds, as well as better tunability of the shocks.

    We are working with the NEDiv to form an SAE class out here. There are 10 schools within easy driving distance of us here, including well established teams like Cornell, RIT and Brown, along with a lot of new and up and coming teams, so the potential for a really competitive SAE class exists. I'm just wondering what it is going to take to motivate these other schools into coming out for events.

    For next season, we plan on running 2 cars, a bunch of regional events, the National Tour stop, the closest Pro Solo, and the Divisionals. The number of events run with the 2003 car depends on when it gets back from Formula Student, but the 2002 car will be out there as often as it can.

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Formula SAE '00 - '04
    Team Leader '01 - '03

  5. #25
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by wingman:

    So call off the dogs there Ken, this is all in good fun!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    Hey, no worries at all here. The only place I'll sick the dogs on you is on the track [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]. I'll have to 'cause you guys were pretty darn quick. It was great to hang out with you guys, also. You are absolutely correct about Woods' car, it has come a very long way since 1988. It's suspension has been tweaked and tuned within an inch of it's life, and I feel that it is possibly the best, most neutral handling car I've ever driven. It also weighs about 600#, A&M ran with the fastest cars in 1999 in their 600 + pound car, Cal Poly runs very quick with a 600 pound car, hmmmmm, what's the problem with a little weight (Mr. Smith) ? I will concede that it takes a great deal more thought to design a 450 pound car, but hear this, our older overbuilt cars are more reliable. The 88 car runs basically without fail everytime it goes out (except for the odd snapped drive shaft). So, I will argue that if you want aero, enough power to pull it around, and a car sturdy enough to take the punishment year after year, there's nothing wrong with a 500-550 pound car. We took a real beating over the 02 car weight, and I don't think we deserved it.

    As for budgets, I think you're right. 15-20K should get you a quality car and a trip to Detroit depending on how many folks you take, and where you stay. For the car, of course you need cash, but you also need material, services, and facility donations. But travel costs cash....period. I thnk we spend in the neighborhood of 3000 for detroit. That's vehicles, accomodations and food for 15 people. It takes 10-20k for travel to UK or Austrailia depending on plane fares and mode of car transport. Travel is the real killer in my opinion. I'm sure this is the biggest reason for low FSAE attendance at NAtionals, after all, students (generally) are by definition....poor. I know I am. However, Nationals is a whole lot cheaper than Detroit, and I strongly encourage teams to plan it into your budget. What is happening to the 100+ cars built each year, anyways??

    More news later,

    Ken Hassler
    The Phantom was 3-4 seconds faster than me each day. Comparing my G-Analyist data with Woods', it is painfully obvious that I lost 1.6s on Thursday due to horrific rear wheel lift. We had pretty much fixed it for Friday, but it still cost me some time. What really hurt me on Friday was that I wasn't calibrated as a driver to take full advantage of the aero. The car was capable of 1.9g, but there were times I would chicken out, brake into a corner at say 1.1 or 1.2 g, then corner at about 1.6-1.7g. I neede to throw the car into the cornesr a little harder, had I done so I think I could have dropped down into 6th place which would put us right there with the big boys. So I guess both Dr. Woods and I will have to eat our words about FSAE cars not being able to compete with A-mods. Been preaching that for some time now, and in all honesty I didn't think I'd ever see the day when we could hang with the big boys. Just wait till next year...
    I hope you guys keep bringing that winged monster out (Cal Poly). And cheers to your buddies who got that local auto-x together with all the FSAE cars. That's exactly the thing we need to get the recognition we deserve in the SCCA community.

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