Giovedì, 15 Novembre 2018

The Formula SAE is a competition between university students organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers ( SAE ), which involves the design and the production of a race car, evaluated on series of tests based on its quality of design and engineering efficiency.
Established in 1981, the competition is today spread throughout the world, with ten annual events organized directly by the SAE in collaboration with the national associations of engineers and technicians of the automobile.

In each event, you can score a maximum of 1000 points distributed among various tests in the following format:
Business Plan Presentation 75
Veichle Design 150
Cost Analysis 100
Acceleration 75
Skid-Pad 50
Autocross 150
Fuel Economy 100
Endurance 300


Before the partecipation in the dynamic tests, the vehicles must undergo a series of checks and inspections, commonly known as "techs", by judges, who verify compliance with the championship rules, especially to guarantee the pilot's safety.

As the inspection is done, the car is positioned on the tilt table, a platform capable of tilting the prototype on both sides up to an angle of 60 degrees, in order to certify that there is no loss of liquids.

The next test is about engine noise, in this check, the judges ensure that the engine does not exceed 110 dB of noise.

The last of the pre-race tests is the braking test, in which the car must be able, after a long acceleration, to lock all four wheels without stopping the engine.

For each of these four tests is issued a sticker, that the courts apply to the front nose of the car; only after collecting all four stickers, the prototype can get on track and start the competition.


Costs Analysis: the test is divided into two parts: the compilation of a written report (which must be sent to the judges before the competition) and a discussion during the event itself. This allows you to evaluate not only the cost of the prototype, but also the team's ability to produce an accurate estimate of the costs of production and design. It is therefore clear that the cost report must match the car chosen for the competition. The car with the lowest cost and the best presentation receive 30 points each. During the event, 20 more points are awarded to reward the real possibility of producing the vehicle, while the last 20 points to how the team exposes the production processes on two topics chosen at random by the judges.

Business Plan Presentation: this presentation serves to evaluate the team's ability to develop and deliver a broad and comprehensive business case. The event is judged by car's experts, so the team must be assumed to compete not only with engineers but also with an executive of the various areas of a company, including production managers, marketing and finance. The evaluation is focused on content, organization and illustration of the project. The team that will produce the best presentation, associated with the quality of the vehicle, will win the test.

Engineering Design: the concept behind the event is to evaluate the choices and design efforts and how they meet the needs of the market. These aspects are judge in union with the team's ability to answer the questions asked and the inspection of the car, which must be fully assembled and ready to race.


Acceleration: During the acceleration test the car needs to accelerate along a 75 meters straight strip. The test is divided into two batteries, which must be ran by two different drivers, each of them has two attempts. The rating is determined by the difference between the worst and the best absolute time record, keeping in mind that the highest time taken into consideration by the judges must not exceed 5.8 seconds, corresponding to an average speed of 46.55 km / h.

Skid-Pad: The test assesses the stability of the car when cornering. The track recalls the figure of a 8 with two circles of 15,25 meters. The car, after entering the path, has to make a tour of the right circle, to determine the direction of travel, the second circle is timed. Completed the fourth lap, the car leaves the track, in the same direction from which it came. The test is divided into two batteries, which must be ran by two different drivers, each of them has two attempts. The rating is determined on the laptimes of each circle.

Autocross: It's a sprint race to run on two laps of the circuit to evaluate the handling of the car. The track includes short straights (not more than 60m), curves with constant radius (23 to 45 m in diameter), bends (9 m minimum outside diameter), slaloms (cones at a distance between 25 and 40 m), chicanes and variable radius curves. The score is determined on the fastest time on two tests performed by two different drivers

Endurance and fuel economy: The test of endurance is the event that closes the weekend of races, it assesses the overall performance of the prototype. For this reason it is, without doubt, the main event of a Formula SAE competition. It takes place along a path very similar to the autocross one, for a total of 22 km. There is a driver change in the middle of the race during a period of three minutes. The starting order is based on the autocross results: the fastest team is the first to get on track, followed by the second and so on, sliding ranking. The total time of the endurance is the sum of the times of each driver, there is an additional penalty comparing the entire time to the fastest team on the track. A maximum of 300 points is available for this event.

In the same context of endurance are awarded points for the fuel economy. During the endurance is not allowed to refuel. The rating is based on the average of fuel liters per kilometer during the endurance test.