Each year we design and build an open-wheel, formula-style race car and bring it to a competition in Michigan at the beginning of the summer. We travel to Michigan International Speedway for a four-day-long series of events, hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, known as Formula SAE.
The first to days are set aside for the static events. We must demonstrate that our car complies with the extensive safety rules of the North American FSAE competition. The grueling tech inspection is followed by the sound, tilt, and brake tests to ensure our car is safe and plays fairly. Occurring between those events are the Cost, Marketing, and Design Presentations in which we must defend the cost of our car, market our vehicle to theoretical investors, and justify the design of the entire car.
The last two days are dedicated to the so-called Dynamic events. On day 3, an Acceleration event tests our cars's straight-line performance, the Skid Pad forces us to take our car to the fringes of its cornering ability, and the Autocross event requires us to demonstrate our car's agility through one lap of an obstacle course. Day 4 comprises only one challenge, but it is the most difficult and highly-weighted event: Endurance. This grueling race is 22 kilometers long with a break after 11km for an integrity inspection and a change of drivers. Most teams do not complete the demanding task, but we have consistently finished Endurance over the past several years.