Tag Archive | Formula SAE

Tore Up the Track

Last Tuesday night, I went to Dromo One (www.dromo1.com) with Steve Quon (Xanga: GR81stud) and Alex Ho (Xanga: Alex115).  We went at a great time because we were the only ones on the track for the 6 PM race and hot laps!  It was so nice having the track to ourselves!  By the end of my track time, I was within half a second of the best lap set that day by someone I imagine was a “regular” at the track.  I also don’t think my kart was that great in that it seemed too darty when reacting to light steering inputs (I got used to it) and the seat was in a fixed position for a shorter driver.  I then went to Molcasalsa in La Habra for the first time with Hanley (Xanga: randomranting) and Jon (Xanga: jonathankng).  Mexican food > Asian food!!!

Here’s a video of the 2007 Formula SAE West competition I volunteered at last month:

Still not firing on all cylinders

My left groin is still sore from pulling or straining it four or five weeks ago.  I’d say I’m about 60-75% right now.  Your prayers would be appreciated!

Robots in disguise

I saw Transformers on Wednesday night.  I won’t spoil any of it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.

Here’s a pretty cool Transformer that wasn’t in the movie.

Racking up the miles

I passed the 71,000-mile mark on “Devoted Dan” (my car) on June 24th.  For those who don’t remember, I hit 60,000 miles on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2006.  Those 11,000 miles in six months puts me on pace to hit 82,000 miles around Christmas-time.  I actually was at 72,000 miles when I parked the car at church this morning.  The next goodies I plan on giving him are Koni Sport strut inserts and JDM STI pink springs.  I’ll let you all know when those go on and my driving impressions after the suspension upgrade.

Why I LOVE my job

I found out a little more information about the Vehicle Testing Assistant position I didn’t get.  Our Editorial department hired someone who previously worked at Motor Trend.  That being said, I am totally cool/okay with that.  If I had to make the decision, I honestly would have hired him over me even though I was an internal applicant because of his work experience.  I’m sure I’ll meet him eventually and find out he’s a cool guy because I definitely can say the same about the person who used to be in that role who was promoted to the Manager of Vehicle Testing and our News Editor who used to be the Manager of Vehicle Testing.

Here are some reasons why I love my job:

  1. Our web sites (www.edmunds.com, www.edmunds.com/insideline (for the cool stuff – think Car and Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine), www.carspace.com, and www.autoobserver.com) are devoted to automotive consumers and enthusiasts – I would say they are the best out there (at least the main Edmunds and Inside Line sites…the other two need work)!
  2. I get to see cool/new automobiles in the parking garage on a regular basis (As far as I know, the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX will be coming in this week.  I’m going to keep my camera in the car so I can take some photos of it as soon as I see it)
  3. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people at work
  4. I can wear a polo shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a baseball cap to work (T-shirt and jeans would be even better – I’ve seen people in other departments wear those, but I don’t think they’re allowed in my department…I guess that’s too casual)
  5. What I currently do allows me to learn more about how our web site works and visitor behavior
  6. We can surf the Web and use AIM as long as we get our work done (although sometimes I feel I’m not as productive as I should be)
  7. I love the way I’ve “decorated” my “cubicle”
  8. We have a game room
  9. We have a softball team (actually two – the Monday night co-ed team I’m on and a Thursday night men’s team)

Here are some things I don’t like about my job:

  1. Fighting traffic to work and back can be a bear (but hasn’t been as bad as I originally thought it would be on a daily basis…plus it gives me a great opportunity to listen to Truth For Life (www.truthforlife.org) every weekday from 8 to 8:30 AM on KKLA 99.5 FM – latest nugget of truth from God’s Word: genuine faith is visible, audible, and credible )
  2. Not everyone wants to be your friend
  3. Sometimes my group/department feels understaffed (My manager told me another Associate Business Analyst (what I currently am) is on the way)

I feel like I’m forgetting some things above.  I’ll edit this entry if more come to mind.

I thank and praise God for the job He’s given me!  All glory, honor, and praise to Him!

Oh yeah!  Who wants to go to Fishfest 2007 on Saturday, July 28, 2007?  Please let me know.

Fontana Formulation

The Overall Formula SAE West-winning car of the Texas A&M team entering Turn One

Yesterday (Saturday), I volunteered at the annual Formula SAE West competition.  I mainly helped an Edmunds.com co-worker assist with timing and scoring for the 20-lap endurance event–about half of the vehicles finished if I remember correctly.  Those two black “stripes” (see photo above) that run across the width of the course are the wires used for the electronic transponder.  The braking force of cars slowing for Turn 1 and the stickiness of their tires kept lifting the tape.  My co-worker, David, and I basically had to baby-sit that from 9:15 AM to a little after 2 PM.  Every now and then, we would run on to the track while it was “hot” (cars running at race pace) to lay new strips of tape down and/or press the tape already there down more.

The location of the timing wires above was actually the first of two locations we used.  During the first hour, one of the two lines was lifted off the track surface (but not severed) around the same time the University of Oklahoma car caught fire (Can you say “BOOMer Sooner?”) which brought out a red flag.  We moved the timing stripes up the straightaway where cars wouldn’t be braking over it.  The new location served us well for the rest of the day even though one of the wires was severed by a car that bottomed out over it (it might have been the UC Berkeley car).  The other wire was unaffected and was able to still record the times of vehicles passing over it.

One of my favorite vehicles was the UC Irvine vehicle (I apologize for not having photos of the vehicles I’m going to discuss here as I was actually fulfilling my duties as a volunteer.).  I think it had the nicest livery (a.k.a. paintjob) and the shell on the car had a nice design to it.  It was cool seeing the UC Berkeley car breakdown.  I know that’s not nice to think or say, but I’m just being honest.  UCSD was registered, but didn’t show up.  CSUN and Cal Poly Pomona put forth decent efforts.  USC, UCLA, and any other UCs did not participate in this year’s competition.

Another vehicle I really liked was the Wichita State entry.  The exhaust note of their car sounded just like a Subaru boxer motor!  They also had a funny LED brake light pattern on the back of their car.  I thought the exhaust note was so interesting that I had to ask them what kind of motor they had in the vehicle.  They said they were using a Yamaha R6 motor with a custom exhaust.  It sure sounded awesome!  My interest in this car actually helped them later in the day (they don’t know this) because the person with the “run order” list said the Wichita State car hasn’t been on the grid yet when it was supposed to have been there.  Because I had talked to them earlier in the day, I was able to inform him that they already ran.  Did you all know that Subaru/Robin, a Fuji Heavy Industries sister company, have engines that power go karts?  Subaru also announced the KX21 Sports Kart engine on Dec 7, 2006.

There was one car there that had a supercharger which was really cool to listen to as it drove by.  One car had a turbocharger and a quiet blow-off valve.  It ended up breaking.  Other interesting vehicles included:

  • University of Hawaii’s entry – it came to a stop on lap 12 or 13 after the first driver (the 20-lap run is broken into two 10-lap runs done by different drivers) started experiencing transmission issues (we all could hear its gears grinding) around lap 6 or 7
  • Hunan University participated for the first time.  Their vehicle broke on lap 12.
  • Tokyo Denki University (or something like that) participated in this year’s event and disappointed me with their vehicle’s performance.  However, I think it did well in terms of fuel economy.

Michigan State had a really cool entry.  Above, you can see their car getting a little squirrelly while accelerating out of Turn 1.  They finished in the Top 10 but were visibly disappointed with the result.

Here’s some video footage of Auburn University’s 2004 Formula SAE car:

This year’s Overall Top 3 teams were:

  1. Texas A & M University (making them back-to-back Overall winners)
  2. University of Kansas
  3. Auburn University

This definitely would have been an awesome thing to participate in while I was still in college!   Oh well.

Keep an eye on this young man

Lewis Hamilton is a 22 year-old British rookie sensation taking the world of Formula 1 by storm.  Today (Sunday), he won his second (consecutive) race to increase his lead to 10 points in the 2007 F1 Driver’s Championship (10 points = 1 race win).  He seems to have his head screwed on fairly straight.  I think he’s a great person for many young aspiring racers to look up to.  Keep your eye on him and his adventures in the world of F1.

More Than Meets the Eye



Now that the hype/marketing machine is in full swing for the Transformers movie coming out on July 4th, I decided to jump on to the bandwagon by geting one of the coolest Transformers ever!  Meet Smokescreen from the Transformers Alternators/Binaltech series.  He starts out as a 2003 Subaru Impreza WRC rally car before transforming into his Autobot robot form.  He currently resides on my desk at work.  This particular Transformer is pretty difficult to transform.  The fact that it is based on the 2003 Subaru Impreza WRC rally car makes me think little of its shortcomings as a toy.  This Transformer movie should be a great addition to anyone’s collection!  Just remember this Transformer as you’re watching the movie/extended GM commercial!


Lately, I’ve been craving taking a drive on a nice twisty road and going go karting.  I don’t think I’ll have time to get my fix for any of those in the next few weeks.   Who’s interesting in doing either with me?

Regarding my previous rant on the outrageously high stage in the “Praise Center,”  I found sitting on the very end of one of the sides of the room seems to help a little bit.

I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day.  If you are a child of God (John 1:12), never forget our Heavenly Father!