Speed racers finish in 10th

Dessiraee Eleby

The CSUN Formula-SAE ranked 12 out of 80 overall at the 2008 Formula SAE West Competition in Fontana from June 25-28.

Project Manager Matt Powell, a 20-year-old junior business major, said the driving events are the team?s specialty.

The team?s fastest finish was sixth place in the acceleration race.

Though the racing team did not beat previous records, it placed in the competition?s top 10 percent.

CSUN Formula-SAE highest clock speed was 88 mph, but the race car?s top speed is higher, Powell said. The reason for a lower clock speed is because the race?s course focuses on handling, not speed, he said.

The secret to increasing the speed is lowering the gears by making the back sprocket larger than the front sprocket, Powell said.

?Part of the testing is breaking everything you can before competing so nothing breaks down during competition,? Powell said.

CSUN Formula-SAE broke the race car?s suspension, and a team member crashed the Formula One-style race car into a fence while practicing at a Bakersfield raceway park before the competition, he said.

The cost to build the prototype was more than $50,000, which did not include $20,000 of donated carbon fiber, adhesive and the mold use for building the race car, Powell said. Mass-producing the race car would cost about $22,000, he said.

Next year?s team will have additional competition data collected from the newly purchased acquisition system purchased.

The data acquisition will be useful for next year?s team to improve their strategies, Powell said.

Twenty-four-year-old Rick Pasuc, a mechanical engineer said he volunteered for CSUN Formula SAE, and he will be an official team member for the Fall 2008 semester, when he can receive additional hands-on experience.

?It is a very good place to learn your strong and weak points before going to a job,? Pasuc said. ?I just want to learn a lot more than what it is like in the actual field. This is closer to what you can actually do.?