On their 1,500-mile trip home from Lincoln, Neb., the USC Racing team had smiles on their faces and their heads held high. They had just placed 24th at the annual Formula SAE (FSAE) competition, a three-spot improvement from last year, after facing their stiffest competition yet.
The FSAE competition, this year held from June 21-24, is one of several student engineering design competitions by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). To compete at FSAE, students must design, build and test a formula-style, single-seat race car. The four-day competition consists of several dynamic and static events, including acceleration, skid pad, autocross, endurance, two presentations and a cost analysis. This year, 73 teams competed.
USC Racing’s biggest improvement was in the endurance event, which they haven’t completed since 2005. At the design review the team held last November, the team’s captain, Anchal Jain, emphasized that improving their car’s reliability would ensure success during the endurance test. This year, they were able to finish the event, marking their first year since 2003 in which they have successfully completed all events.
“You can imagine how happy the students and myself were of this accomplishment,” said Yann Staelens, faculty advisor for the team and senior lecturer in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME). “There is obviously still plenty of room of improvement and our goal for next year will be a top 15 finish.”
Overall Standings for USC Racing:
Acceleration – 25th
Skidpad – 35th
Autocross – 25th
Endurance – 21st
Design Presentation – 27th
Business Presentation – 11th
Cost – 17th