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Old 5th February 2009, 09:31   #1
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Default Driver Training Programme?

Hello Guys, as i said in a different thread, we are building this formula sports car for the FSAE event in japan.
Now we have shortlisted some drivers after a selection programme held at go-karting in powai. very soon we will be deciding the 2 drivers who will drive the car at the event.

now, do you guys know of any place in mumbai or nearby who gives driver training for go-karts or formula cars? any information would be highly helpful as we have to train the drivers before appearing at the event.

thanks.
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Old 5th February 2009, 12:24   #2
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raj_5004,

Who are the guys you have chosen?
Are they team members?
Do they have a lot of track time with go-karts atleast?

Nothing can really prepare them better than a lot of practise in your car itself. Try to give the chosen drivers as much seat time as possible before the competition. Sometimes all the members of our team wouldn't even get a chance to drive the car till after the competition, since the chosen drivers would get priority. It is a huge advantage in getting to know the car and how it behaves well, since every FSAE car is different.

Also, (i dont know where you will be testing -- but if possible...) try to set up your test course as similar to the competition course as possible, especially in terms of scale. If you're only between 1st and 2nd on your test course and at the competition you need to go to 3rd, its not quite the same. Close to real practise will make a difference and make the drivers more comfortable/confident.

Then, when you have a good course set up, the drivers have got the hang of it and the car is running reliably - invite someone you know who is good at racing (professional driver? etc) to come and watch, and provide some pointers. It will be fairly easy for them to spot where the driver has room to improve.

Worst case, hook up some sort of deal (sponsorship mention etc) where the drivers can get unlimited track time on the go kart course w/ go-karts, if they dont already have a lot of experience there. Its not the same thing as driving an FSAE car, but a lot of basic learning will happen there and hopefully translate over. See if you can get them time in the "pro-karts" as well (i dont know if hakone has these, but whatever the most powerful ones are 12-14bhp(?)). This will be a little more like the FSAE experience in terms of being good on the throttle and not spinning out!


Given that this is a car you have built yourselves, and havent tested a lot -- you need to figure out how reliable and robust it is. Don't abuse it, but also dont hold back. Its better you find the weak spots during testing than during the competition! Things always break... do a check after every test session for components showing any sort of stress or wear. ADHERE TO ALL THE SAFETY STANDARDS WHEN TESTING. (ie dont remove your firewall for some cutting work, etc etc). Keep a safe run-off area. Dont let teammates stand to close to the track (i've amlost been hit by a team-mate when he managed to lose control on the main striaght besides which we were standing!).


Lastly, data-acquisition might be too much to ask for, but a much simpler and almost as effecive way (on a basic level) to do it is -- do a few timed laps per driver. Take them on video from a good vantage point (high up = better). Compare lap times, compare drivers, compare videos. See which line is faster, which gear is better, which technique works. Get the drivers to talk to each other and share tips and thoughts.


And Lastly-lastly, dont underestimate how ergonomics and usability effect LAP TIMES. If the shifter is a pain to manage, if your toe keeps hitting the frame when you move over to the clutch, etc etc -- FIX IT!! Small things like that can make a big difference to the drivers ability to perform, as well as his composure and concentration.


Goodluck,
R
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Old 5th February 2009, 15:40   #3
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Send them to Coimbatore or Chennai. Speak to racing teams like WSRF or Ram's racing and get them some track time with FISSME since they're not going to be driving karts at the FSAE.
That said, I'd suggest you concentrate on the export of the FSAE vehicle.
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Old 5th February 2009, 17:58   #4
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@ rehaan: thanks a lot for the advice buddy, that was really really helpful & needed, trust me. yes, the drivers are the team members itself & i am one of them. most probably, the 2 drivers will be finalised in coming two weeks.

@ nitrous: its a good idea but would be heavy on the wallet. you know, in this time of recession, its really hard to get sponsors.
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Old 7th February 2009, 03:10   #5
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Good advice from Rehaan.

I would like to stress the importance of testing the car/driver combination. I've seen far too many teams that finish the car on the previous night, jump into it, and then do all the dynamic events. Even a national karting champ can only do so much with a poorly developed car.

If this is your first effort, keep it as simple as possible in terms of number of failure points. Get the car finished ASAP, then test, test, test until you are tired or the car breaks. Its usually the latter. Then step it up a notch, rebuild, and you are much better placed in terms of both vehicle and driver development.

Keep the complex stuff like custom ECU's, data acquisition, exotic materials, FEA, CFD etc. for next year. Just focus on building the most simple design you can think of, and then go from there.
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Old 7th February 2009, 10:31   #6
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thanks ananth. such advices do help us greatly.
we plan to use a honda CBR 600 cc engine, no custom ECUs or remapping for now! we dont have the neccessary eqiupment for that now!
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Old 7th February 2009, 12:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
.... Just focus on building the most simple design you can think of, and then go from there.
Very true advice, especially for a new team.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananthkamath View Post
.... then test, test, test until you are tired or the car breaks. Its usually the latter....

Some pics from our second day of testing/practice :


Testing gounds = parking lot of the raceway.
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Soon enough....Oops.
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cya
R

PS - Also some theoretical practice wouldn't hurt. Just reading about vehicle dynamics and good car control, smoothness of inputs etc etc. The key stuff. Nothing too fancy like heel-n-toe etc. Also, keep in mind, this is the 600's gearbox so that means you can safely UP-shift without the clutch. Just leave the throttle for a faction of a second and upshift. Make sure youre doing it well, (and probably better not to downshift without the clutch) otherwise you'll probably break your chain or damage some other drivetrain component!
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Old 8th February 2009, 08:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
thanks ananth. such advices do help us greatly.
we plan to use a honda CBR 600 cc engine, no custom ECUs or remapping for now! we dont have the neccessary eqiupment for that now!

I'm almost certain you will need something like a power commander due to the requirement of a mandatory 20mm restrictor. That is the simplest solution.
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