Formula Buckeye scores high with improved testing
The Formula Buckeye team completed a successful season with a 13th place finish at Formula SAE Michigan and a 3rd place finish at Formula North.
The team walked away from Michigan International Raceway with a 13th place finish out of 118 teams.
“This represents a tremendous achievement for the team and its highest finish in this competition since 2004,” said team advisor, Jeff Chrstos, who serves as the student programs coordinator for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “Last year the team placed 44th.”
The Formula Buckeye team credits its improved testing process to the success they had this year.
“The team has had reliability problems that have hurt them during testing and resulted in major point losses in competition over the last 10+ years,” said Jeff Chrstos. “In addition, some parts of the car were simplified to increase reliability.”
Each team competed in design, presentation, cost and on-track dynamic events. Among the dynamic events, the highest place finish for Formula Buckeye was the skid-pad which is also the event with the lowest points awarded.
After a short rest and some minor adjustments, the team headed to Ontario, Canada to compete in Formula North, Canada's Formula Student Automotive Engineering Competition where they placed third overall and first in Design.
During the Design competition, each team answered judge’s questions related to the following aspects of their vehicle: powertrain, aerodynamics, brakes, ergonomics, chassis and electronics.
“Our testing procedures and plans put us above and beyond the competition,” said Max Wright, Formula Buckeyes team leader and driver. “We spent eight days on TRC’s test track which provided us with an extraordinary amount of data that we could then use to validate the decisions we were making on the vehicle to earn more points.”
“Our team was able to overcome several challenges and proceed to have great end results,” said Wright. “The teamwork and persistence was truly outstanding. This successful of a year wouldn’t be possible without the help of our sponsors and Ohio State’s support.”
The team is already looking ahead to 2018 and hopes to make improvements to their car with improved designs and driver ergonomics as well as a restructuring of the team to improve efficiency.
Original article by Colleen Herr of the Center for Automotive Research