Formula Buckeyes fight for second place victory at Pitt Shootout
The Formula Buckeyes capped off another round of competition success at the 7th annual Pitt Shootout at the Pittsburgh International Raceway Complex. 31 of the best FSAE teams entered to compete for bragging rights in both skidpad and autocross events.
“We came with our best foot forward and a new set of tires to try to bring home more hardware after our 3rd place overall finish at FSAE Michigan,” said Formula Team Lead, Colin Mullan.
Upon seeing the track map, it was clear the team was in for a bit of a challenge. Space constraints made the track slower and tighter than last year. Relative to the competition, the Formula Buckeyes gain time in high speed corners due to the vehicles long wheelbase, solid aero package and stiff suspension setup. While the team is tackling some of these weaknesses with the next design iteration, a new fuel map on the engine, softer springs and a slightly reworked brake system were all initial changes post-Michigan.
The team was expecting to see times slowly drop throughout the day because the track was dirty. “The chalk lines didn’t help, as touching them would send our wheels spinning. There were certainly some places on track that we wanted to use the extra space, we just couldn’t yet,” said Mullan. “However, the surface was so slick that we decided to make some more changes to help out.
The team set out on the skidpad where they ended in a reasonable spot before returning to autocross where the majority of differentiation between teams would lie.
“The top time to beat was constantly changing, but a few teams showed they had the ability to set fast times,” said Mullan. “We traded the
top spot between the University of Michigan’s EV entry and Illinois pretty constantly. Even as ambient temperatures got hotter, times kept coming down.”
The team put up a hard fight, and with skidpad taken into consideration for the overall results, it pushed the team into a second place overall finish.
“We were really happy to come home with this result,” said Mullan. “It’s a testament to the growth that this team has continually seen recently. Thank you to all of our members and alumni for their constant hard work to get us to this point, and to our sponsors and supporters for allowing us to compete in the first place. We wouldn’t be able to do this without the team’s history and support from Ohio State and the Center for Automotive Research. We’re still pushing for that number one spot, hopefully before we make the transition to electric power!”
Portions of the article written by Colin Mullan