Cooper FSAE Team Prepares for 2015 Formula SAE® Competition at Michigan International Speedway
Contributed by Daniel Bach ME’15, March 9, 2015
After over eight months of work, the Cooper Motorsports team is in the final stages of putting together the 2015 formula racecar. The FSAE competition will be held May 13-16, 2005 in Brooklyn, MI at the Michigan International Speedway. Design work on the car began last summer and continued well into the fall semester. This year, the team made some ambitious decisions early in the design process. The result: the lightest and fastest racecar that Cooper Motorsports has ever built.
The 2015 racecar features a new engine and a completely redesigned chassis: including a frame 20% lighter than last years and new suspension designed around all new lightweight magnesium wheels. A pneumatic paddle shifting system will decrease lap times while an optimized braking system will let us keep our speed that much closer to a turn. Revolutionary 3D printing technology allows for an intake manifold that will promote even distribution of airflow to engine cylinders while simultaneously being lightweight and robust.
This will be the eighth time that our team has competed at the annual Formula SAE competition at Michigan International Speedway. This year we have continued the tradition of building a team alongside the car. With extra emphasis on recruitment, organization, and communication, the results have been remarkable. With over forty committed members, our team is the largest it has ever been. We have kept to our timeline up to this point and expect to meet our goal of having our first test drive on March 15.
We invite alumni in hte NYC area to a 2015 car rollout event that will be held at The Cooper Union before the team leaves for the Michigan race. This rollout event will be on April 23rd.
We invite alumni living in Michigan or Indiana to attend the Formula SAE® competition, May 13 to May 15. Please visit the http://facebook.com/cooperFSAE for more information.
Cooper FSAE Team Competes at Michigan International Speedway
Contributed by Daniel Bach ME’15, May 2014
The Cooper FSAE team competed in the Formula SAE® Michigan Competition held May 8-11, 2014 in Brooklyn, MI.
The competition lasted four days that included two days of inspections, several performance tests and an endurance race. The only major modification that we had to make to pass the performance tests was to change the muffler. This was needed to meet the requirement for noise to be below a certain threshold. Fortunately, we were prepared for this possibility and were able to make the change in just a couple of hours.
On the third day of competition, after passing the noise test, we had the brake test. To pass this test, the driver must accelerate the car and then be able to lock all four wheels by applying the brakes. The problem we encountered was not with our brake system, but instead with our engine tune. The first few times we tried this test, the car failed to properly accelerate and we were not able to attain a high enough speed. This problem was easy to fix with our tuning software, but we were forced to wait on line for the brake test a second time. At this time, we had only an hour and a half before the window to compete in the first two dynamic events would be over.
After waiting on line, we got our second chance and passed the brake test. We then rushed to the dynamic area and got four runs in both the acceleration and skidpad events. Later that afternoon, we got two runs in the autocross events. There were a few issues that made it difficult for the driver to handle the vehicle, but there were no catastrophic failures. The biggest issue we encountered was our lack of driver experience. Three of our four drivers had never driven at competition before and each had only about an hour of practice time in the weeks before competition.
On the final day of competition, we entered the endurance event. We made it through the first seventeen laps of this grueling event. With just five laps remaining, the driver spun out and was unable to restart the engine. No maintenance is allowed on the vehicle during this event. If a team is unable to restart their engine, they are eliminated from the event. The issue seems to have been electrical. While we were disappointed to fail so close to the end of endurance, we have a lot to be proud about this year.
This year’s team had 15 students. Only 3 of these students were on the team in prior years. The team was led by Spyros Korsanos who was the only senior on the team.
We are optimistic about the future of the Cooper FSAE team. Our numbers have grown considerably this year. We are no longer a group of four or five diehards working day and night. Instead, we have a well-rounded team of fifteen. Everyone who went to competition was moved by what they saw. It is an incredible experience to be at a racetrack with one hundred different racecars and the students who built them from all around the world. We all learned a lot and got a glimpse at what we can attain if we build on the work we have done.
We will be bringing out the racecar over the summer to promote what we do and to give our drivers practice. We’d love for sponsors/alumni to come to these events.
websites: http://fsae.cooper.edu/ Cooper.edu: http://cooper.edu/engineering/facilities/automotive
Jonathan Zorko ME ’15, Wilfrido Castillo ME ‘ 16, Steven Lee ME ’14, Jared Hecht ME ’16, Alex Bush ME ’16, Amy Chambers EE ’16, Noah Dinkes ME ’14, Jessica Loo ME ’14, Muneeb Hai* ME ’12, Adam Vaughan* MME ’09, Tim Fedullo* ME ’10, Brandon Balili Automotive Lab Technician, William Biesiadecki ME ’14, Sergio Rodriguez ME ’16, Daniel Bach ME ’15, Robert Walsh ME ’16, Gary Go ME ’15
*These three alumni are past team members who came out to the competition to offer their support.
Unveiling our 2014 Formula SAE® racecar
Contributed by Daniel Bach ME’15, April 22, 2014
On May 1, 2014, the Cooper Motorsports team will be hosting an exhibition to unveil our 2014 Formula SAE® racecar. The event will begin at 6 pm in the Rose Auditorium at 41 Cooper Square. It is free and open to the public. https://www.facebook.com/events/1440579116181710/
Two weeks later, we will head to Michigan International Speedway for the Formula SAE® competition. We will be up against 120 other teams from technical universities all around the world in a series of events that test the performance, resilience, and efficiency of both our vehicle and our team. Things have been going very well at our recent test days and we are excited about the competition on May 14-17, 2014.
We invite all alumni to attend the unveiling exhibition, and Michigan based alumni to attend the Formula SAE® competition. Please visit the http://facebook.com/cooperFSAE for more information.