BROOKLYN, Mich. - On May 11-14, 2011, approximately 150 Ford volunteers and 2000 students attended the 2011 Formula SAE at Michigan International Speedway. Formula SAE is a student design competition involving 120 colleges and universities from around the world. The students design, build and compete an open-wheeled race car in a variety of events. The 2011 event was won for the second year in a row by Global Formula Racing, an international team collaboration consisting of students from Oregon State University and Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg-Ravensburg of Germany.
The cars must pass an SCCA tech inspection and then compete in a number of static and dynamic events:
• Design Judging: A team of experienced industry judges evaluate the student’s design, analysis and understanding of the design concepts.
• Marketing Presentations: Competitors make a presentation to upper level executives of an imaginary corporation. The presentation should tie together all factors that would influence the marketability, manufacturing feasibility and profitability of their design. It should include an understanding of the marketplace and target customer, and show how their team’s design meets the requirements for each.
• Cost: The cost to build the car must be well documented and is judged on both the accuracy of the analysis and the absolute cost.
• Acceleration: The Autocross event is designed to test the car’s handling qualities without the hindrance of competing cars.
• Skidpad: Cars compete for the best combined cornering grip in right and left hand skidpad courses.
• Autocross: The Autocross event is designed to test the car’s handling qualities without the hindrance of competing cars.
• Endurance and Fuel Economy: The goals of the endurance and fuel economy event are to test the durability of the vehicles and to determine the fuel efficiency of the vehicles. The dual nature of the event can lead to compromises, as a corrected mileage of 26-liters/100 km is required to avoid penalties, while the course layout and 22 km length of the event test the vehicle's durability. No repairs may be performed on the vehicle during the event.
Ford is a longtime sponsor of Formula SAE and has provided volunteers to the event for more than 20 years. Three years ago, Formula SAE was incorporated into the Ford Model Teams system to allow employees to volunteer at the event as a part of their community service participation. Ford also had a recruiting table and vehicle display on site.
Ford more information on the Formula SAE competition, check-out the links below.
Additionally, if you would like to be added to the volunteer distribution list for the 2012 competition, please contact Peter Kuechler at PKUECHLE@ford.com.
Photos contributed by Becky Snyder.