ASU students complete their race car, open it up on the test track — just in time before hitting the road for national competition
Editor’s note: This is the latest installation in a yearlong series about ASU's Formula SAEFormula SAE is a student design competition organized by the International Society of Automotive Engineers (now known as SAE International). team. Find links to previous stories at the end of this article.
Machines can be things of beauty, and over the past year the student engineers of Arizona State University’s Formula SAE team have created something truly beautiful.
Their Formula-style race car’s design transmutes function into pure elegance. They shot for a simplistic design with handling performance, lightweight but stiff in suspension, chassis, and braking systems. The frame, nose cone, side pods, carbon fiber intake differential housing and mounts, and wheel centers are all student-designed.
The car doesn’t look like something a bunch of kids slammed together in a garage, because it’s not. Everything gleams. The beautiful welds, the coatings, the thoughtful and careful mechanics of it — this is something that was created with great care by professional engineers.
“I am proud to be a part of it,” said chief engineer Wes Kudela. “It’s been four years on this team. We’ve turned it around to where I can’t believe we built something this good and this beautiful.”
On Monday morning, the team will hit the road for the international Formula SAE competition in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they’ll compete with 79 other teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, India, Japan, and South Korea from June 15 to June 18. And as in any good story, the team experienced an 11th-hour setback, running into mechanical problems Friday evening but finding a way to power through.