Weekend Roundup

IN THE GARAGE WITH LONGHORN RACING

It was another very busy weekend for Longhorn Racing! The 2016 car is well underway. Nearly every sub-team is hard at work putting the finishing touches on their designs and will be bringing everything together soon so that we can start testing and manufacturing the design.

That isn't to say tangible work hasn't started; two sub-teams in particular have been making significant headway. With the engine up and running, the engine sub-team has been engaged in conducting baseline testing on the stock motorcycle configuration to measure torque. While a few issues on the dynamometer have been identified, team members have been working quickly to resolve them. And soon, the engine will have a place to sit, as the frame is well on its way to completion! This weekend saw the base members of the front of the chassis welded together. It's a delicate process that requires precise measurements and placement of the tubes, but the frame sub-team has been working quickly and efficiently to create a sturdy final product.

Also with the 2015 car back in the garage, another round of maintenance has started. Now, our focus is not so much on presentation but on drivability. We'd like to have the old model back to running soon to conduct driver training and data collection to verify our simulations. This involves taking the 2015 car apart once more, making modifications to components that require improvement, and putting it back together.

This weekend, this process involved a team smoothing the travel of the pedal assembly, making it easier to adjust than it was before. Another group was redesigning sensors for data collection, which included an investigation on cutting the mounting bracket for temperature sensor out of a thicker and sturdier metal. Additionally, team members were working on redesigning the radiator fans by conducting calculations and simulations to increase efficiency of the design.

And while this benefits the 2015 model, it also serves an important purpose for our 2016 car. These alterations can be used as research to see what's working well, what can be improved, and how those improvements affect the rest of the car. We can use that knowledge going forward in the design and construction of the 2016 car.

 

THIS WEEKEND IN MOTORSPORTS

Formula 1 traveled to the Interlagos circuit in Brazil for the penultimate race of the season. Relatively uneventful from start to finish, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg secured his second consecutive win from pole position with teammate Lewis Hamilton taking second place. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari completed the podium in third place. However, a monkey wrench was thrown into the final result when Felipe Massa's 8th place finish was revoked after his car was found to have exceedingly hot tires before the start of his home race. Despite that, the Williams team was able to secure third place in the constructor's championship standings.