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Thread: UWA / Lotus 88 type cars

  1. #1
    UWA brought an incomplete car comprised of essentially an undertray on wheels with a cab and engine suspended above it. They didn't compete in dynamic events as the car wasn't ready to run, but were there any objections to the car's general principle of operation? It should be legal - after all, other cars have unsprung undertrays - but switching to that type of car will be a big design-level change and I want to be sure it won't be banned like UWA's front wheel pants.
    Charles Kaneb
    Magna International
    FSAE Lincoln Design Judge - Frame/Body/Link judging area. Not a professional vehicle dynamicist.

  2. #2
    You should probably ask the rules committee and not the forum members


    Formula Student Germany
    FSE Rules & Organisation

    Not many people know the difference between resolution and accuracy.

  3. #3
    You really shouldn't write inflamatory messages that are inaccurate and opinionated.
    Firstly, UWA's wheel pants were not 'banned'! The team chose to remove them rather than modify them slightly to meet the scrutineers requirements.
    And, as Tobias has mentioned, take up the issue of 'twin chassis' cars with the rules committee

    The trick is ... There is no trick!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    North Carolina
    South Dakota School of Mines ran a twin chassis concept at Michigan this past competition.
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
    Opinions Are My Own

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Perth Western Australia
    Hi Charles,
    UWA's car also had very non traditional suspension, that takes quite some effort to understand with the kinematics not entirely clear on first observation, that may have been the issue just as much as the twin chassis design.
    The scrutineers did indicate they had no objection to the suspension design, however some rules comity people did express an opinion they thought it was illegal and we should have asked for a rules clarification prior to the event.
    The teams position is it easily complied with the rule, which is quite clear, so no clarification was required.
    Pat talked of where tyre forces were reacted, and essentially I think required the mandated suspension travel to exist relative to BOTH "chassis" type components, because they both have loads reacted on them, a distinction from an unsprung mounted under tray. Our position is the lower floor is merely a suspension component, much the same as a wishbone or beam axle, with loads reacted through it. It would be interesting to see if the South Dakota car, that presumably ran without issue, met this standard.
    We were informed by Pat at the comp that some legality process had been started with the USA rules comity, however there has been no feedback, or communication of any sort, with regard to this.

    After a very disappointing comp, with wildly contradictory sentiments coming from all directions,(and often from the same people) I would recommend a rule clarification for everything that isn't a direct copy of standard practice.

    Better still, just build, or actually, "use the design process to design your own solution" but come up with the standard car they like to see, and things will go much better for you.


  6. #6

    The 'legality' or otherwise of the UWA car was discussed at length at FSAEA. The Aussie Rules Committee could see both sides of the discussion very clearly.
    Fortunately, from thair perspective, the car could not run, so the pressure to make a decision that would have global implications did not need to be made and a decision was made to present the issue to the International Rules Committee for a fair decision that would not appear to have any regional bias. This was done before Christmas, and like you, I have not had any feedback either. Perhaps there has not been a Rules Committee convened to discuss it.

    My personal view?

    I appreciated the fresh thinking and I quite liked the concept! I certainly did not feel 'It's different, therefore it's wrong'!

    From an engineering point of view, I was not happy with reacting the brake forces in particular through the undertray through a few 6mm bolts as well as a few other issues we talked about at the time, but these were really scrutineering issues, not Design Issues.

    I was disappointed that the team had not submitted such a radical concept to the Rules Committee before the event so avoiding the upsetting and disappointing situation.

    Your statement that 'We thought it was legal and so we didn't need to ask' was also a disappointment after the bunfight in 2011 with the UWA 'wheel pants', so the team knew that bringing avant garde ideas to the competition should be preceeded by a clearance from the Rules Committee.

    I was disappointed that the UWA team we have known and respected for many years were coming across, in some peoples eyes, as a bunch of smarta**es. That comment was actually made by someone I won't name.

    And I understand your disappointment with the whole affair, but your suggestion that teams should avoid designs that are 'outside the square' is no fair.

    So, should..

    1). The Rules Committee approve the concept.
    2). The design proves to be fast and reliable on track.

    Then, what you guys have concieved could well revolutionise what FSAE cars are like into the future and for that you should be applauded. But the process at FSAE-A is what was flawed in more than one way.

    No doubt we will have a Rules Committee determination in due course and we can get on with life


    The trick is ... There is no trick!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    NSW, Australia

    If the scutineers did their jobs, would there be such a high failure rate? Why are cars that have disastrous failures (wheels falling off, etc) allowed on track in the first place? It's just interesting that an 'avante garde' concept may not have been allowed to run yet so many 'standard' concepts are allowed despite their history of failures.

    As far as asking the rules committee goes, isn't that a contradiction of the motorsport industry, where innovations are typically allowed to compete until the rules catch up (Chaparrall car, McLaren's 'movable aero device', etc.)?

    Disclaimer: I realise that scrutineers aren't mind readers and can't see the future and that quite possibly I am talking out of my behind. I have not much of an opinion either way, it's just an interesting notion to me.

    UoW FSAE '07-'09

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Airports, A320\'s, 737\'s
    Originally posted by Jay Lawrence:

    If the scutineers did their jobs, would there be such a high failure rate?
    Conversely, if the students did their jobs would there be such a high failure rate?
    "Man, I need to practice more!" - Kenny Wallace
    "Try not to have a good time... this is supposed to be educational." - Charles M Schulz
    -OptimumG 2005-2006
    -Turner Motorsports 2008-2009
    -Black Swan Racing 2010 & 2011 Team and Driver's Champions
    -HPD Race Engineer 2011-2014
    -Currently Freelance Data/Race Engineer

  9. #9
    Originally posted by js10coastr:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jay Lawrence:

    If the scutineers did their jobs, would there be such a high failure rate?
    Conversely, if the students did their jobs would there be such a high failure rate? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Oxymoron: student vs. job

    I loved the UWA concept, I think if FSAE is aiming to encourage learning for future careers in motorsport that more emphasis should be put on aerodynamic development, as this seems to be the way of the business these days, certainly in the higher echelons. Recent rule changes have made steps in this direction, and I realize my next suggestion is going to sound a bit bold, but I'd like to see more open tracks, with faster corners. At the speeds we go aero doesn't make a huge difference, at my university this year the best justification I could give to our academic staff for dedicating resources to developing an aero package was not the benefits at comp (although there are some), but the educational benefit for budding engineers on a motorsport engineering course. Yes I realize there are greater safety concerns with higher speeds, but I think suitable precautions can be taken, if the holy grail of a full rules rewrite ever gets underway an increase in restrictor size (22mm?) and wider tracks with larger radii wouldn't go amiss in my book. It'd be nice to be able to build a car that can actually go round a track significantly faster than a simple go kart can (many non team members on our course tease us because of this fact).

    With regards to the legality of such concepts as UWA's i think if ever any rules are put into question I think a lot of leniency should be given if there are no safety concerns. If there is an arguable case for it being legal, and it does not compromise anyones safety then I can't see why the car shouldn't be allowed to run. The whole point is to encourage students to think and come up with their own ideas, we shouldn't be afraid to "innovate" with our designs.
    I'm sure this is most likely the primary consideration by officials and rules commitees already (right?), but I'd just wanted to clarify that opinion.

    What I really want to know is will the UWA car ever run and if so when and where?
    Brunel Racing
    2010-11 - Drivetrain Development Engineer
    2011-12 - Consultant and Long Distance Dogsbody
    2012-13 - Chassis, Bodywork & Aerodynamics manager

    2014-present - Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

  10. #10
    Firstly, I cannot comment regarding the scrutineers apart from saying that their job is to ensure the safety and legality of the cars. It is the student's job to ensure the reliability...and as the Good Book says, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"!

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Jay Lawrence:
    As far as asking the rules committee goes, isn't that a contradiction of the motorsport industry, where innovations are typically allowed to compete until the rules catch up (Chaparrall car, McLaren's 'movable aero device', etc.)?

    You have a misunderstanding of what FSAE is all about! This is not 'Motorsport'! The motorsport angle is the bait on the hook that attracts the young engineers.

    FSAE is about giving graduating students an interesting project to prepare them for life in the 'Real World'. Industry complained that the Universities were turning out 'engineers' that were theory rich and practical poor. That it was taking several years for industry to convert an 'engineer' into an Engineer. FSAE has addressed that issue very well, but it is still not 'motorsport'.

    The idea that you should be permitted to do whatever you wish unless it is proscribed by the rules does not apply in FSAE. We have a rulebook and whether you agree with it or not, you have to abide by it. Part of those rules state that if there is an area that needs clarification, there is a mechanism to address that.

    Remember, the SAE, VDI, IMechE and other organisers and officials (Including people like myself) have a duty of care at law. To let inexperienced students go rampant with a vehicle design that could hurt someone can end up having people defend their position in a court of law. God knows enough accidents happen as it is!

    By the way, what was controversial about the Chapperal? Powered Ground effects were legal back then, but when the effect of a piston seizure in the 2 stroke Kohler fan engine was understood, then those things were banned.

    What the heck was 'McLaren's moveable aero device'? Moveable aero has been banned in mainstream for many years and any attempt to utilise such a system is cheating. And don't give me that bumpf about the engineers being smarter than the rulemakers! Cheats are cheats!

    One freedom that is allowed under FSAE rules is the use of 'live' aero devices, unsprung wings and undertrays. This is because the speeds at FSAE events is carefully regulated. But is a concept the Rules Committee watch carefully, and something like the 2012 UWA car might be the 'straw' that has that technology banned.

    The culture of 'It's not cheating if you don't get caught' that pervades a lot of areas of motorsport has no place in FSAE.

    This last statement does not imply that I think any team has cheated (even if I know they have at times in the past! Though not in the context of this post)

    The trick is ... There is no trick!

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