The Suspension/Vehicle Dynamics team is responsible for controlling the motions of the racecar to ensure the tires are operating at their maximum grip potential, resulting in the fastest racecar.
Using a student built FSAE competition simulator, high-level vehicle parameters such as track width, wheelbase, centre of gravity height, and mass are all analyzed to determine the target values which produce the most competition points across all events. In addition, we use this program to simulate all FSAE tires and determine the highest performing tire considering the Pacejka curves, mass and inertia characteristics, and tire diameters.
This year, the team made the leap from a corner suspension to a fully decoupled roll and heave/pitch suspension, incorporating DSSV FSAE heave and roll dampers provided by Multimatic. This novel design allows for the independent tuning of wheel rates and damping for roll and heave/pitch modes, resulting in greater control and tunability of the racecar. The team has also made the transition to low-profile Continental 13x8 tires mounted on single-piece CFRP wheels for superior tire performance and mass savings.
Heading into the testing portion of the design cycle, the suspension team is excited to validate the lap sim results and quantify the decoupled suspension performance increase when compared to a corner suspension setup.
Joining Western Formula Racing’s suspension team creates opportunities to work in a fast paced environment developing one’s toolbox of skills. These skills include learning how to simulate the car in MATLAB, design of every suspension component in SOLIDWORKS, performing a stress analysis on critical components, and hands on manufacturing of components in our machine shop. Then,you will assemble all the components onto the chassis, and finally test the car on the track. This gives the opportunity to optimize the vehicle’s on track set up for various track types and conditions and collect data to improve the design for the following year.