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Thread: Derestricted FSAE cars in SCCA

  1. #1
    I'm sure we've all thought about it. Take the old car and put a motor with hot cams and no resictor in it, then do some modifications to the weaker parts. You'd have 120+ horsepower in a 450 pound car. Our team still uses the F4i and have f4s from the carb'd era that are begging to be modified.

    Is there a place where such a thing could be run? I know the university wouldn't want to be associated with it and I'm not sure how SCCA feels about it.

    And yes I have driven the car, I actually drive it at comp. Although it is fast and fun it isn't always traction limited...

  2. #2
    Racer,
    Officially, for an FSAE car to run in SCCA events, it must comply 100% with FSAE Rules. Officially, they do not meet the AMod rules, although some Regions do allow them to run as "AM". That way with the normal limit of 2 driver per car, be 3 or 4 drivers can drive in the event.

    If you pull the restrictor off an FSAE car and run it, you may be putting the Region in some form of jeopardy. These cars are plenty quick enough with the restrictor, so please do not do it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Racer-X, the SCCA has a FSAE class, but like Mr. Royce said it has to meet the rules. Now to be clear, it does not have to meet the 2012 or 2013 rules, so a car can be built to the 2005 or even 1995 rules. Also, I don't know how much you have autocrossed your team's cars, but these things are quick as is. We usually put a couple seconds on shifter karts (the shifter kart drivers in our region placed 4th and 6th at nationals), and at nationals we aren't far off Amod at times. Just go out there and have fun. These cars are hard enough to drive fast with a restrictor. Don't make it harder on yourself. haha
    Trent Strunk
    University of Kansas
    Jayhawk Motorsports
    2010-2014

    Now in NASCAR land. Boogity.
    Opinions Are My Own

  4. #4
    I totally agree that the car doesn't need more power, it has the right amount as it is. That said I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks the most fun way around the track is not always the fastest, just ask Jeremy Clarkson.

    I can't speak for your car but ours is only hard to drive on the FSAE courses due to how tight they are. On a more open course, like one meant for a fullsize car, I can really get on it without having to worry about hitting cones or spinning out because I'm trying to do a 180* turn in the width of a two lane road.

    And thanks for the info about SCCA.

  5. #5
    After I graduated, the more I thought about it the more the thought of driving a FSAE car (even with stock power and taller gears) on a bigger / open course seemed increasingly like a death wish.

    Formula B, Formula 1000, Formula SCCA, something to that effect.. that'd be fun.

  6. #6
    I'm building an '08 CBR1000 powered AM out of an old FSAE car I bought. It is JUST big enough to meet AM rules and will weigh about 450lbs when I am done sans aero. I am doing it for the challenge and the fun. There are no other AMods that run around here and I suck too bad at driving to be competitive at Nationals.

    The plan is to get it running and sorted as a 160hp FSAE car, then wings, then turbo, then ballast from there, so it will be running at 450lbs for a long while. Hopefully by the time the plan is complete(years), I will be acceptable enough of a driver to go to Nationals.

    I don't like this talk of being fast enough already and jeopardizing your region. De-restricting an already safe(that's my caveat) car doesn't immediately make it a disaster waiting to happen. If you're asking the question at all, then you've been involved in FSAE and should be aware of the risks and precautions you should take. Heck, I know plenty of teams that test their cars without the restrictor because their engines aren't finished being tuned on the dyno.

    The main thing I would be concerned with is whether whoever puts on your local AX events would mind you running or not. If not, then it may not be worth the effort.

    -Cole
    Cole Easterling
    Brendon & Lawrence Mfg.
    2011-2012 TAMU FH/FSAE

  7. #7
    Originally posted by coleasterling:
    De-restricting an already safe(that's my caveat) car doesn't immediately make it a disaster waiting to happen. If you're asking the question at all, then you've been involved in FSAE and should be aware of the risks and precautions you should take. Heck, I know plenty of teams that test their cars without the restrictor because their engines aren't finished being tuned on the dyno.
    In my opinion / experience the cars are "safe" in large part due to a course configuration and engine spec that keeps the speeds low.

    Personally I've never seen a team track test without the restrictor. I've only been around several dozen teams in 3 years as a student and 3 years after before washing my hands of direct involvement, so it's not to say it doesn't happen. I don't see the point to testing in such configuration though.

    Back to the "already safe" bit and speeds. Just bear in mind with these FSAE cars... you have safety-critical components "engineered" by people without engineering degrees. The parts are often machined or welded likewise by kids with no professional certification, late at night while pumping yourself full of energy drinks. Done it myself! Can't vouch for the structural integrity of a frame weld that's made by filling a 3/16" gap between tubes with a pile of ER70S2 filler. Just bear that in mind because even on professionally built and prepped race cars, when you see your driver fly off the track and hit something at 100+ mph, shit gets really real, really fast. Or likewise when a coworker comes back from supporting a race weekend and an unfortunate bit of news is of someone in the paddock having their body split open by a canister of compressed gas.. resulting in the local track/authorities having to use absorbent powder to soak up the blood from the pavement. Safety is not guaranteed professionally, and certainly not at an amateur level - even with best intentions.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for pushing the limit and going all out, and having a fun time in motorsports. That's why I do this stuff for a living. Now that I've been around professional motorsport for 5 years.. on one hand I'd love to get back in a FSAE car and dick around on a tight little cone course. But on the other hand there's no way I'd hop in an unrestricted FSAE car on a bigger track unless I had overseen the design, analysis and manufacture personally as team lead / captain and had total faith in it. From my own year as one of the team captains, I sure as hell would not take that route!

    But hey, that's just me. Maybe that makes me a pussy, maybe I'm just starting to accrue some common sense here at the ripe old age of 27. If it were me I'd design and build some common SCCA class car properly rather than retrofit a FSAE built. Take it for what it's worth.

  8. #8
    Exfsae,
    Are you messing with us, or have you never heard of autocross?

  9. #9
    For your own protection, any FSAE car associated with a university should never be driven without full rules compliance. This includes full driver gear and using the restrictor.

    Things can and do go wrong sometimes, and there is a (small) chance your driver could be injured, a spectator could be injured or significant property damage could occur anytime the car is driven. While this is unlikely, the consequences are substantial if any of these happens. In the scrutiny that would follow--possibly including lots of attention from lawyers trying to decide who is at fault and who is financially responsible--you need to be able to state that the car was fully rules compliant when the bad thing happened. Don't give anyone a chance to make a connection, real or perceived, between your rules violation and any cause or consequences of the crash. You just don't need to take the risk of running outside FSAE rules.

    In my mind, any arguments about how safe or unsafe a car is without a restrictor are secondary in comparison.

    While we're on the subject, Pat Clarke wrote a good article about testing in one of his "Pat's Column" entries. Start with the second section on this page:

    http://www.formulastudent.de/a...ticle/testing-times/
    Dr. Edward M. Kasprzak
    President: EMK Vehicle Dynamics, LLC
    Associate: Milliken Research Associates, Inc.
    Co-Director: FSAE Tire Test Consortium
    Lecturer: SAE Industrial Lecture Program
    FSAE Design Judge

  10. #10
    Originally posted by rrobb:
    Exfsae,
    Are you messing with us, or have you never heard of autocross?
    "SCCA" is more than just autocrossing. Are we talking Solo series or are we talking about any SCCA event, like trying to find a way to run on an actual track? Like trying to take the thing to Lime Rock or something.

    The latter IMO is a death wish.

    Even in Solo, I wouldn't want to run the thing unrestricted... more so for keeping the car in one piece than anything. Gotten better in recent years but these cars have a hard enough time holding themselves together at FSAE speeds much less higher velocity (and along with it hotter tire temps, more grip, suspension load...)

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