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Thread: 2016 FSAE-A Australasian Competition

  1. #1

    2016 FSAE-A Australasian Competition

    The 2016 Australian comp is going to be held 8th - 11th of December 2016.

    Although ECU isn't attending this years competition we are still going to be watching closely due to it being our home competition and all.

    After a student committee meeting a few days ago SAE-A raised a few points about the competition which I thought I'd share here and get everyone's opinions.

    At the competition there will be no or minimal marshal's on the track during such events as AutoX or Endurance to pick up hit cones or stricken cars, this is to ensure the maximum protection and safety of marshalls which is an understandable argument.
    In turn a solution has been proposed that cones will not be used but tyres will be. They will NOT be used on the apexs of corners.

    This gets more interesting as cones will be used in braking run off points and if one of these cones are hit a safety car will be deployed under yellow or red flags.

    I must stress these ideas are all proposals and SAE-A have done a fantastic job starting a Student Committee who are involved (or at least informed) with
    some of the decisions and I am sure they are being strong-armed by the insurer for the event.
    Last edited by NathVanVugt; 08-30-2016 at 07:53 PM.
    Nathan Van Vugt

    Edith Cowan University

    Team Leader 2015 - 2016

  2. #2
    This is the proposed method of track marking provided by SAE (I did not draw that "racing line"):

    The tyre bundles are three large old touring car racing slicks bolted together in a triangle. Drivers will be sufficiently afraid of the DNF they will receive by a tyre collision that they will avoid them more than cones, and this means marshals will not need to count 2 second penalties.
    UQ Racing

  3. #3
    The V8SC tyre bundles are not a new things at FSAE-A. They tried to use them in a similar layout in 2014 – but after a number of team complained most were removed. I believe they also tried to use them again in 2015 (they are visible in the track walk video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxZVcYdgayY ) but I don’t think they were not used during the actual events? Maybe someone can confirm?

    These are not suitable corner markers in FSAE in my opinion. They weighed ~60kg for a bundle of 6 tyres and would cause significant damage to a FSAE vehicle and potential injury to a driver if one was to be impacted.

    Formula Student Competitions have successfully been using cones as marker for over 12 years. With cones being retrieved and replaced with cars controlled with caution flags to make the track safe. These tyre bundles will create a significant hazard and increase the risk of injury during the event in my opinion which is easily avoidable.

    The assumption that teams will leave a gap is not realistic. A quick google from 2014 autocross shows ->

    I know we had some on-board footage of us very close also.

    Curtin Motorsport Team
    2011 - 2014

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Using tire walls as track marks for FSAE cars is grossly negligent in my opinion. The cars don't have a proper safety concept for impacts. Especially if the front suspension hits a tire wall (very likely if the tire wall marks the apex) the suspension will fail and broken A-arms will be pushed into the footwell which makes severe injury of the driver very likely. If you would want to have the tracks marked like that, at least a rules change which forces the front axle to be in front of the driver's feet would be necessary.

    The assumption that the students would leave enough gap to the tires is completely off the line. This would mean that you can gain an advantage by taking a higher risk than the others. Someone will be willing to take that risk, so the others will do as well and at some point it will go wrong.

    I'd suggest that you try to make clear to the CAMS people how the cars are made and kind of risk it means to the drivers to mark the track like this. In my experience it works very well to warn the drivers with yellow flags while marshals have to push away broken down cars or rearrange parts of the track. This is by far the lower hazard compared to solid tire barriers.

    Of course marshals who work on a track during autocross or endurance have to be very cautious and be aware of what can happen otherwise it can get dangerous, therefore you need to brief them properly and you need people who are in a physical and mental constitution which is suitable for this job.

    Long story short. In my opinion this suggestion is an absolute no-go for an FSAE competition. Overall safety will be much worse compared to having it run in the conventional way.
    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

  5. #5
    Fully agree with Bemo here.

    As a team leader, I would not let my car run on such a track, period.
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

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

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  6. #6
    I agreed with Julian on this one.

    I've seen a car skim it's wheel on a tirewall doing only ~5mph. The front wishbones buckled, and the nose of the car crashed to the ground. I've also seen a carbon wishbone failure (delamination this time) cause a car to take the exact same nosedive while cornering at very low speed (<10mph).
    While in both cases the drivers were fine, although a little stunned, had the cars been travelling at 30mph+ it may have been a different story.

    We see wheels that go for a walkabout at almost every single event, without the need for any external impact. How many more will be sent careening towards other cars, spectators, or marshals who are "not on a hot track" (but just outside it), if wheels are constantly clipping tire walls?
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Bemo View Post
    Using tire walls as track marks for FSAE cars is grossly negligent in my opinion. The cars don't have a proper safety concept for impacts. Especially if the front suspension hits a tire wall (very likely if the tire wall marks the apex) the suspension will fail and broken A-arms will be pushed into the footwell which makes severe injury of the driver very likely.
    Yes, I also support Bemo's view.

    The FSAE-A taking feedback from a Student Committee is a good thing (VERY GOOD!). And in keeping with this enlightened approach, I think they should also place considerable weight on the opinions of people like Bemo and Julian who have "been there" for nearly a decade now (?), and have "done it" as both students/competitors (= doing "anything" to win), and also as organisers/scrutineers/marshals (= trying to stop the testosterone-overdosed kids killing themselves).

    As in Bemo's quote above,I see cockpit intrusion by wishbones, or by anything else..., as one of the most dangerous aspects of FS/FSAE as it now stands. The Rules do almost nothing to prevent such events. Personally, it is one of the most dangerous things I would be thinking about if I drove a typical FS/FSAE car (especially a spaceframe-with-flimsy-side-and-floor-panels). I have grown quite attached to the family jewels!

    I am actually quite surprised that after 30 odd years of these competitions no driver has yet received a new a-hole. I put this down primarily to the slowish speeds combined with wide open spaces with nothing hard to crash into, other than the relatively soft and squashy cones. The proposed tyre-barriers, especially the 6-tyre ~60 kg ones, will very easily detach a set of wishbones, even relatively sturdy steel ones. After that, there is almost nothing preventing a wishbone-arm travelling the ~0.3 metres to where it can do serious damage.

    On the other hand ... assume they only use a single layer of 3 tyres, as in the earlier pic. Now a ruggedly built car could possibly send one wheel straight over the top of the tyre-barrier. The tyre-barrier-slicks are quite floppy, and a heavy-ish car on 13" wheels should be able to take this "speed-bump".

    So does this "driving over the tyre-barrier", without MOVING the barrier, count as a 2 second penalty?

    If not, then you can bet that each lap the drivers will be cutting more and more off the corners. In fact, I see a whole new concept in FSAE-winning cars on the horizon. Think "Monster Trucks"! (Well, just a bit wider, higher ground clearance, and heavier-duty long-travel suspension...)

    The orange cones work well enough. Stick with them.

    Last edited by Z; 08-26-2016 at 09:30 PM.

  8. #8
    I would say stick with cones or possibly simply chalked lines. They used to seem to hold up well enough at FSAE Michigan back when I attended there and you could easily see the chalk residue on a car's tire that crossed the line.
    Jay Swift
    Combustion Powertrain
    Global Formula Racing 2013-2014

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    PERTH, Western Australia
    If you want to get fancy, why not bolt a small bracket to the ground, tether the cones to that, pull a string and bam, cone is back in the right spot. :P

    Jokes aside, the marshals have done well to manage to risks running onto a live track to reset cones. I don't see there being a large risk because the marshals are aware of the hazards and can choose to wait until they have sufficient time to do it. Big tyre stacks and walls will just make the situation more dangerous for the drivers. Its just moving the problem onto someone else.
    ex-UWA Motorsport

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Feels like we've been over this but still having the same issue... See FSAE-A 2015 thread or FSUK Safety thread.

    Similar problem at FSUK where tyre bundles are placed in line with braking and on outside, which doesn't leave much wiggle room of a brake failure or a wheel failure happens (as happens often in fsae).

    Agree with Bemo. Cars aren't built for hillclimb and khan across style events, more carpark with cones type tracks.
    A front impact attenuator and side impact structure isn't going to do a whole lot if you rip off a front corner - everyone should know how Senna died...

    Need to work out a better solution for everyone. If this event was run by a company, there would be a million risk assessments and half of what happens at comp wouldn't be allowed (running on track to grab a cone for example).
    I get where SAE and CAMs are coming from. Protecting marshalls from cars is a high priority but shouldn't be compromised with unsafe track for cars.

    The core of the issue is Calder Park. The track is long and narrow (comparatively speaking).
    So the has to be lots of slaloms, dog legs and bus stops to reduce the overall speed as per rules.
    I'm stumped at finding a way that slows cars down that doesn't have many cones or tyres on the track....
    Maybe for future events need to find another facility? Maybe the toll wharf near the west gate bridge might be an option.

    Good to see SAE are working (at least talking) with the team's to find a solution. It won't be easy.

    I just hope that they don't go with what Mitch posted..

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