September 9, 2008

The LSU TigerRacing Team participated in the 2008 Formula SAE® competition at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan in May 2008. The LSU TigerRacing Team, comprised of mostly mechanical engineering students and one electrical engineering student, built their car over a period of 15 months. The team drove more than 20 hours to transport the car to the Michigan International competition to compete in the five day event.

The LSU TigerRacing team competed against 103 teams from around the world.  Competition areas included:  design, cost analysis, presentation, acceleration, skidpad (cornering), autocross, fuel economy, and endurance. The University of Western Australia earned first place in the competition. Second place went to the University of Stuttgart, and the Technical University of Munchen earned third place.

The 2008 TigerRacing team successfully completed the competition, although they fell short of their goal of being in the top 20­­--the LSU car had difficulty in the middle of the competition. Troubleshooting found that the gas tank, fuel filler, and injector screen had become clogged with metal shavings over time. The problems were fixed, but at the cost of lost time and points. Fortunately, the revolutionary radiator design built by Mariana Hurtado and sponsored by Mezzo technologies performed well. The team is especially grateful to the many companies and individuals that supported their efforts with contributions of services, materials, and funding. The 2009 team is looking forward to next year’s competition, and is committed to placing in the top ten. 

The Formula SAE® competition is organized by the International Society of Automotive Engineers. Teams of students compete by designing, fabricating, presenting, and driving formula-style, autocross racing cars. The competition is structured to challenge the skills, creativity, and resourcefulness of the students. The design and manufacturing of the car offers young engineers a meaningful engineering project to put concepts learned in the classroom to real-world use. It also provides them the opportunity of working in a dedicated team effort.

For more information, or to learn about how you can help support or sponsor the 2009 LSU team, please visit LSU TigerRacing on the web at http://tigerracing.lsu.edu.

Article by Brenda Tate, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-4986, btate8@lsu.edu

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