Day 2: Tilt/Noise Test & Static Events
On the second day of competition the team arrived at the track with a high level of anticipation towards passing the final inspection stages without a hiccup. As the team prepared for the day, preparation for the static events continued behind the scenes. As the car rolled out for design, the business group, lead by Brad Cook, headed off towards the team’s indicated suite confident of giving a strong business presentation. After a successful showing in the design event giving the team a 15th place finish, the team returned back to the paddock area to make final changes in order to pass re-inspection. As soon as the car was set and ready to go, the team pushed off towards the inspection garage for a second time. Joined by a pleased business group pocketing an 18th place finish acquiring 65.5 of the 75 possible points, the team watched as Mia successfully passed a lengthy re-inspection. Next up, the cost event. With a short walk and yet another solid showing from the business group, the team was awarded 37th place for a well put together cost presentation. With the static events completed and the unfortunate news of missing design finals by a slim margin, the team hurried to complete final stages of inspection. Mia started off tilt, brake, and noise at the fuel and tilt table where she easily passed without incident. Once the tilt sticker was secured and placed on the car, the team moved on to noise. After warming up the engine, the car was pulled up to the testing lane where unfortunately the car failed and was pulled off to allow other teams to attempt passing the noise test. Two failed strategic attempts later, the team decided to head back to the paddock to further develop a bulletproof solution to pass sound. It wasn’t long after the team arrived back at paddock number 33 that a solution was developed to modify the current muffler. With a few hours remaining until the paddock area closed, the team continued to work hard putting their plan into effect.
Day 3: Noise/Brake Test & Dynamic Events
The next day, the team came to the track knowing how hard they needed to work to keep this soon to be hectic day at bay. Knowing they would surely do well and uphold their reputation earned from competitions in the past, the team began the day making final adjustments to the muffler in order to pass sound. One of these adjustments involved utilizing the Lincoln Electric tent to weld an extension to the existing muffler. Once the muffler was finished and the car was set to the low drag setting for acceleration, the car headed off to noise to get the car one further step towards finishing the inspection process. A short line awaited the team as they hurried to get their two remaining stickers in order to compete in the dynamic events. As the team expected, when Mia rolled up to be tested, she passed without any problems. Then, after a deep breath, the team moved to the end of the long line awaiting brake testing. As the team waited, a quick discussion between Peter Somers, the chief engineer, and Jack Savage, the team leader resulted in a change in strategy in which the team would need to make a quick adjustment to set the car in a hybrid acceleration/skidpad setup for easy adjustment as time crunched down near the finish of both events. The team finished the preparations just in time to start and successfully complete the brake test. As soon as the car exited the brake area, the team eagerly attached the push bar and rushed the car to the dynamic area to compete in the acceleration and skidpad events. The car started off the dynamic events in acceleration where one of the drivers set a solid time for the team to sit on while the car was rolled off to compete in one of S&T’s more notable events, skidpad. After all four runs, the team had earned a respectable 14th place. With such short skidpad lines, the team was able to rush off to the acceleration area to wait for the second driver to compete. Unfortunately, time had run out and the team was caught in line unable to compete with their second driver. All in all the team was able to earn a 21st spot in the acceleration standings. After lunch, the car moved on to the autocross event. Near the end of the autocross time slot, Caleb Alne, the first driver, pulled up to the start line and put down a decent time, but it was the second run that proved to place the team with a 13th place finish in autocross. With the team stressing out trying to figure out if another two runs would be allowed from Alex Mills, the second driver, due to time, the line seemed to move at a pace with just enough time to let us run right at the listed closing time. The second driver laid down two solid times which included the team’s fastest time of the event unfortunately accompanied by 1 cone and an off course. With a stressful day complete, the team brought the car back to the paddock to begin preparations for the endurance event.
Day 4: Endurance
The fourth and final day of the competition was the time to show everyone at MIS what Missouri S&T was made of. Since the team hasn’t completed an endurance in Michigan since 2009 it was imperative to do whatever necessary to get the car past the finish line with 22 km in the rear view mirror. Since we were 13 cars from the end of endurance, we would be running with some of the faster cars in the competition. After fueling up and being checked over, the car got in line to run in endurance. The car ran well through the first stint of the endurance and finished the first 11km with consistent set up times. Once the car pulled in for driver change, it was looked over for any noticeable issues and after a few minutes, the drivers were switched, ready, and out on the track ready to finish the next 11km with everything the car had left. With the second stint underway, the driver had experienced some things with the car and had decided to take it easy to make sure the car would make it to the finish. Sure enough after a total of 20 laps and 22km, the car pulled past the finish line, through the exit gate, and away from the endurance area. The team was ecstatic in the fact that not a single car for about five years had finished an endurance in Michigan, and they had finally broken this streak of not finishing. After all the scores were tallied up ,the team went on to earn a 12th place finish overall. A very fitting start to a successful competition after a lot of hard work and dedication put towards a difficult testing season.
The team would like to thank all of the sponsors and supporters for helping the team create such a successful car thus far this year. Our success would not be possible without your support. Thank you from all of us here at Missouri S&T Racing.