(Alex Giordano is a senior mechanical engineering major and shop manager for the Rensselaer Formula SAE student team. He wrote this excellent post for The Approach to talk about the yesterday’s event where the club unveiled its 2012 race car, which you can see above and below. Every year the club builds a new car from scratch and races it against cars created by other universities—pretty cool!)
The 2012 Roll Out event was a great success this year as faculty, sponsors, family, and friends gathered to witness the unveiling of our competition racecar. “R12,” as we call it, features several major improvements from last year’s car. To start, the front and rear suspension geometry has been completely redesigned with a focus on decreasing body roll and lowering the center of gravity of each suspension component. Front and rear anti-roll bars have been implemented as well as a transition to the use of pull rods in the rear suspension. Six chassis members were removed after the results from physical testing deemed them unnecessary in this year’s design. “R12” will also feature electronic shifting actuated by paddles on our suede-wrapped steering wheel. The engine package will include an upgraded engine control unit (ECU) as well significantly more hours of dyno-tuning than our previous years’ race car.
Completing the car for our Roll Out was challenge as always, and team members logged more than 1500 shop hours in the last three weeks. The team continues to grow in size and effectiveness as students become more aware of FSAE around campus. A focus on recruiting during the fall semester yielded a strong new influx of bright motivated students to take the baton and carry the team into next year. I’m very proud to be a member of the Rensselaer Formula SAE Race Team, and as a senior club member graduating in May I look forward to competing for the final time at Michigan International Speedway next month. I am very happy to say the team is alive and well, the car will certainly improve dramatically over the next few years as some very creative and motivated students move into leadership.