The FSAE competition is pretty much a time and place for teams to show off a year of hard work and dedication. The first day is spent by having FSAE rules experts meticulously look over your car and gear to make sure you have met all the required templates and specifications. This is where actually reading the rules comes in quite handy! We also have to go through a tilt test to check that the car does not leak any fluids and the exhaust noise has to be at or below 110dBc. Next we have to pass a brakes test where we must lock up all 4 tires. We do all of this while also participating in a cost, business and design presentation. During these presentations we present the information to professionals who then critique and score our presentations. We finished 25th in design, 48th in business, and 42nd in cost.
The last two days is where all the fun is as we actually get to participate in the dynamic events which are acceleration, skidpad, autocross and endurance. The acceleration event is to see how fast your car can traverse a set length in a straight line and our car had the 39th fastest time in this event. Skidpad is essentially a figure eight that tests how well your suspension works in a sweeping turn. Our best time around one circle was 5.355s which earned us 24th place in skidpad. Next up is autocross which is a course set up with cones consisting of slaloms and tight turns. We placed 22nd in the autocross event. The endurance event is actually two events in one. The first is the actual endurance race and the second is a fuel economy score. We had the 29th best fuel economy score but unfortunately we were not able to finish the endurance race as we ran out of fuel approximately 200 yards from the finish line. All of these event scores can be summed up into a 29th overall finish for this year’s team.
My name is Greg Hopper and I was elected by my peers to be the president of Powercat Motorsports starting in the summer of 2015. I am most certainly looking forward to this responsibility and I have steep but achievable goals for this year’s team. First, a little about myself. I will be a senior in Mechanical Engineering this coming fall semester at Kansas State University. I am originally from Gardner, KS and attended Gardner Edgerton High School. When I am not working on the formula car I enjoy attending the K-State football games, Go Cats!
This fall will mark the start of my fourth year with the team here at KSU and I have been heavily involved in the progress we have made in the past three years. Before I came to college I had little to no automotive experience and the first thing I helped with was changing the oil on one of the old cars. From that point on, I was hooked. I spent the rest of that year helping out wherever I could with manufacturing and found out that I had a knack for machining. During my sophomore year I became the teams machining specialist and I helped to optimize parts in regards to making machining simpler which in turn cuts down on the manufacturing time of the car. I also helped to design some new, more reliable mounts for the differential. My junior year brought a new challenge as I became the design lead for the drivetrain system and a team leader. I designed a center locking wheel hub that reduced the un-sprung weight of the car while retaining the required stiffness.
I am excited to get the ball rolling for this coming year and I have set a few goals for this year. First, I want to have a running car by the end of February. The second big goal I have is to do as much testing on the car as we can to validate our designs which can only be done if the car is ready to go early. We are required by rule to do testing on our chassis so the main focus there is to reduce the weight of the chassis. We now have an engine dyno at our disposal and our engine and electronics teams will be very busy this coming fall. We will be testing different intakes and exhausts as well as trying out some different camshafts to help squeeze as much power as we can out of the motor. Our electronics team is looking heavily into developing an electronically controlled throttle. We will also be testing different gear ratios in our drivetrain as well as different torque bias ratios in the differential. Most of our testing on the car as a whole will be focused on suspension and aerodynamics tuning and validation. These two areas affect the performance of the car the most and we are looking to dial in specific set ups for each event at competition.
I am very excited about the opportunities we have for improving the performance of the car as well as validating our designs. We have a young but hard working team this coming year and I expect we will accomplish great things!
President | Powercat Motorsports
The 2015-2016 design team has already been hard at work designing the new car for the upcoming school year. Our main goal will be to validate our designs via physical testing. We will also be striving to maintain the reliability of past years cars. We will again feature the Yamaha yfz 450 motor along with a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a full aerodynamics package.
Join us in continuing the success of our organization by supporting the Formula Car fund. Gifts can be made securely online atwww.found.ksu.edu/give/formulacar or by contacting the engineering development office toll-free at 800-432-1578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.