Day 1: Tech Inspection
A small contingent of the team arrived at the track the morning of Wednesday June 19 to set up the paddock and take the car to tech inspection. Unfortunately, the tech judges were not satisfied that our frame properly met the template rules and failed the car as a result regardless of the fact that the car had passed the two previous tech inspections without a problem. Luckily many of the team members had not yet left for Lincoln yet due to work obligations and two members were able to take a detour to the teams shop and bend a new tube to add to the main roll hoop. The two members drove through the night and reached Lincoln with a couple hours to spare before the team returned to the track.
Day 2: Tech Inspection and Static Events
The next morning the team returned to the track and prepped the frame for welding on the additional tube to the roll hoop. After the roll hoop had been welded and repainted the team took the car to tech inspection for a second time. Thankfully the inspectors were satisfied with the addition to the roll hoop and the team moved on to the tilt, noise and brake tests all of which were passed successfully without incident. Meanwhile, throughout the flurry of hectic activity from trying to pass tech the business group led by team member Brad Cook was busy with the presentation and cost events. Both events went well and the team was awarded 13th in presentation and 29th in cost. Later that day the team moved on to the design event and put on a solid showing gaining enough points for a 7th place finish. Unfortunately the team did not make it to design finals. It was later discovered that the majority of the judges wanted to move the team into design finals but there was a last minute decision to reduce the number of teams moving onto design finals and therefore the team did not move on.
Day 3: Acceleration, Skidpad, Autocross
On the third day the team came to the track with high hopes knowing that they would surely do well in the skidpad and autocross events. The team has a reputation to uphold from the competitions earlier in the year. The team first prepped the car for acceleration by setting up the aero for lowest drag possible. The team ran early in the acceleration event setting the fastest time of the day. The team expected to move down in position but to the teams surprise they maintained a 5th place standing until the event closed. Afterwards the team went to run the skidpad event and sure enough got a respectable 2nd place finish. With team morale high the car moved on to the autocross event. The first driver pulled up to the start line and put down a decent time even with a spin out half way through the course. The team still remained positive since the first driver still had one more run. The second run seemed to be going well until it became apparent that something was wrong. The car slowed to a crawl and the driver fought to keep the car going but eventually had to come to a stop. The car was towed back to the staging area and pushed back to the paddock where the team was ready and waiting to repair the car in time for the second driver. The driver was unable to shift so Engine Group Leader Derek Martin began disassembling the transmission and a problem was found with the shifting mechanism and the part was quickly replaced. The team rushed back to the autocross staging area and much to the disappointment of the other teams the second driver put down the fastest lap of the day on his first try and further solidified our lead on the second lap putting us half a second ahead the next fastest team giving us the first place trophy for the event.
Day 4: Endurance
The fourth day of the competition was the moment of truth for the team. If the team wanted a podium finish they would have to not only finish endurance but finish with a respectable time as well. The biggest worry was the extreme heat, which could potentially wreak havoc with the cars cooling system. So the strategic decision was made to not run the car at full potential in order to finish and obtain the biggest points gain. Due to the first place finish in autocross the car would be the last to run that day. After the car had been thoroughly checked over and fueled the team got in line to run in endurance. The car ran well through the first half of the endurance overtaking many of the other teams running on the course. After the first half of the endurance the car pulled for the driver change and was closely looked over by track officials for leaks or failing parts. After what seemed like an eternity the car restarted and a resounding cheer was heard from the team. The second half of the endurance was underway and all other cars had finished meaning all eyes were on us. But despite temperatures nearing one hundred degrees the car successfully completed endurance gaining a 3rd place finish. The team was ecstatic and team morale was at an all time high. With the points gained from endurance the team went on to earn a 3rd place finish overall. A fitting ending to a car that has performed so well this past season.
The team would like to thank all of the sponsors and supporters for helping the team design and create such a successful car this year. Our success would not be possible without your support. Thank you from all of us here at Missouri S&T Racing.