Terps Racing Formula SAE Competes in FSAE West, Learns Lessons for Future Competitions

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University of Maryland's Formula SAE vehicle in FSAE West competition.

Terps Racing’s Formula SAE team competed at the FSAE West Competition  in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 20-23 in a newly built vehicle with an efficient aerodynamic design but untested for the variety of challenges at the event. 

Engine starting issues were not solved until halfway through the competition, which prevented the team from competing in the acceleration, skid pad, and autocross events.  The team competed in the endurance race but was only able to complete four laps because of a failure of the engine mounts that caused the drive chain to pop off.  The team under-estimated the shock loads in the chain drive and vibration loads from the single cylinder engine. 

Faculty advisor Greg Schultz said he was “happy that they did not give up, got the car running, and made it to the endurance race.”  The students were able to learn from their experience in Lincoln by testing the vehicle in a competition setting, meeting new people, and seeing how other teams addressed design issues.  Schultz wants to mature the team’s car but run more tests and “show up next year with the winning car.”     

To learn more about the Terps Racing program and help support the teams visit Terps Racing.

Published June 28, 2012