Reply To: Hoosier Daddies

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Richard Robbins

The problem was that when the car heated up the brakes would grab. If they ran fast and tapped the brakes they would stick. That was a bit of a problem on the auto-cross and endurance runs. The drivers ended up avoiding the brakes entirely but never really got the car up to speed for fear that they’d need the brakes at some point and didn’t want to trash the vehicle. I was surprised to show up at the paddock and see Joseph tearing apart the brake assembly to redo something or other. I had no idea he knew how to do that.

He’s at a four day post-competition seminar now put on by Optimum G Vehicles Dynamics. The lead guy there is Claude Roulle. I’ve never heard of him but everyone at the competition spoke his name with great deference. They spent all day yesterday going over tires. Joseph said his head was about to explode by day’s end. Today is aero and suspension. Tomorrow is weight transfer and data acquisition. Not sure how they put everything together on day four.

Claude was highly critical of every car he saw. He really dug in. His highest compliment on the Cal car was for the steering system (Joseph’s design) which got a faint “Well, I suppose your steering is OK.” I’m told that counts as a big win.

One poor team miscalculated how much down force they’d get from their rear wing and it snapped the supports during a run. The Cal car runs without fancy aero wings and the like. I’m told that carbon fiber can be tricky to work with and it gets expensive.

Great fun. It’s too bad that the teams don’t get to drive other team’s cars. I’d love to see if other drivers could get more out of the Cal car. Nobody wants to let the competition trash their cars.

Joseph loves being able to apply what he is learning in class in a real world example.

Hey — how my team move back up in the standings?

— KR