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