The Kettering University Formula SAE team greatly improved upon its performance from a year ago as they finished 16th overall out of 105 teams in the competition at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on May 15-17.
Last year the team finished 62nd out of 107 competitions due to technical difficulties on the day of the competition. The team’s highest finish in this competition came in 2013 when they placed 15th out of 108 teams
“We cooperated and operated very efficiently,” said Thomas Vendittelli, Program Manager for the Kettering University Formula team. “We had some very severe problems leading up to the competition but we were able to overcome them through hard work and grueling hours in the garage.”
The team finished in the top-20 in four of the eight categories including a second-place finish in fuel efficiency.
“We were the most efficient car but the car behind us was a little faster so they were able to take first place,” Vendittelli said.
The team finished 14th in cost, 26th in the business presentation, 18th in skid pad, 53rd in acceleration, 22nd in endurance, 19th in autocross and 31st in design. Overall the team scored 637.3 points out of 1,000. The overall winner of the competition, Graz University of Technology from Austria, scored 856.1 points.
Now, the Formula team is turning their attention to the competition in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 17-20. Last year, the team finished 10th overall in the Lincoln competition.
“Talks have already started for how we are going to tackle Lincoln,” Vendittelli said. “Overall, we have a good design and we employ good engineering practices.”
Between now and the Lincoln competition, the team is going to continue working on dynamic tuning and calibration to improve upon the vehicle’s performance this past weekend at MIS.
“We have a car that competes,” Vendittelli said. “We are not going to switch anything. We are going to stick with this model. We need to make this car the best version of this car that it can be.”
The team's adviser, Dr. Craig Hoff also earned honors at the competition as he was awarded the Sports Car Club of America Carroll Smith Mentors Cup in recognition of his contributions as a team adviser and a member of the Formula SAE Rules Committee. The award is named after Carroll Smith (1932-2003) who was a successful professional race car driver, engineer, author and for many years the Chief Design Judge for the Formula competition.