As a part of Forpark Australia’s continued support of our local community, Forpark Australia is proud to sponsor the ECU Motorsport Program. ECU is the only University offering Degree Courses in Motorsport Engineering in the southern hemisphere. ECU offers a 3 year Bachelor of Motorsport Technology and four year Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Motorsport)
John Hurney OAM, ECU Motorsport Engagement Coordinator, explains a little about the ECU program.
The car(s) built by the ECU Motorsports students comply with the International Formula SAE rules as administered by the society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Every year ECU builds a new car to compete in the Australasian competition held in Melbourne in December.
Formula SAE (F-SAE) is a worldwide competition organised by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in which students from universities all around the world, design, build, and compete in advanced open-wheeled race cars. All teams must follow a strict set of rules which are in place to test a team’s knowledge, creativity, and professionalism whilst encouraging technical innovation. As well as posing an impressive technical challenge, F-SAE competition gives the students involved
In valuable practical experience in such areas as managing a team, marketing, building to a strict budget and working to extremely tight time lines.
For Australasian universities, as well as a select few international teams, the climax of the year saw the teams arrive in Melbourne for the four day F-SAE Australasia event. This event not only incorporates the competitive side of motorsports (dynamic events) but also requires teams to make multiple presentations to a field of expert judges.
These presentations are based on marketing, cost, car design and manufacture / build quality and give students invaluable experience in justifying their design decisions – just as they will have to do in a true employment situation.
The F-SAE dynamic events are designed to test a car to its physical limits, with specially designed events which assess acceleration, handling, traction, fuel economy, reliability, and the car’s speed.
Maximum engine capacity in FSAE is 600cc, with induction via a 20 mm intake restrictor. ECU’s 2012 car uses a dry sumped Honda CBR600RR motor controlled by a Motec M800 ECU. In this form the motor produces approx 90 bhp @ 12,000 rpm.
The chassis has a composite monocoque front driver cell, rather than a space frame, due to higher levels of driver protection in terms of both side impact and anti-intrusion. The side impact zone of the composite driver cell was designed to protect the drivers’ side up to the shoulders, and the lay-up in this section of the chassis incorporates two plies of 68gsm bi-axial aramid fibre for added anti intrusion properties. An additional floor panel beneath the driver, consisting of layers of carbon fibre and aramid fibre around a foam core, provides additional protection from below.
The car uses 13’’ Goodyear slicks and features a high downforce aero dynamic package which CFD calculations indicate downforce of over 200kg @ 100kph. Estimated vehicle weight is 220kg and tests on the ECU 2011 FSAE car run on the WASCC’s Jack’s Hill course (where this car held the outright course record for 8 months) showed maximum lateral acceleration of over 3.0G during cornering.
John also states that “ECU Motorsport is extremely grateful for the support we receive from Forpark Australia, which in 2012 is allowing the Team to purchase new FIA compliant Race Suits.”
To see a plan of the 2012 please see attached.