The month of November brought much progress. The A45 car has had all of it's body, axle and components stripped and is now just a frame. Team members have been busy working together to brainstorm ideas on how to improve over last years design and to redesign problem areas as well.
The biggest effort this past month was the removal of the old axle. In years past we have used aluminum for our axle and have been fighting cracks and weld failures. We liked the idea of using aluminum to help reduce the amount of weight on the car, but paid the price by breaking an axle at a rally last season. The build team decided to strengthen the front axle by using chrome moly over steel. Chrome moly has properties that will increase strength without adding much weight to the car frame. The build team is creating designs and building mock up axles that could be used. The biggest challenge will be attaching the new chrome moly axles to the aluminum frame in such a way that will not reduce the integrity and function of the axle.
Overall, last years design for both cars were successful. We are trying to find ways to improve the overall function and performance of the car. One area is the canopy design. The car's canopy helps to deduce the aerodynamic drag on the car by not allowing air to enter inside the car while on the track. Currently the canopy does not sit tightly on the car and bounces around during the rally. Another area that the design team has been working to improve is the front nose on the car. In an attempt to reduce drag, we are designing and testing new nose designs to find one that gives the best result.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but the main focus will be the reconstruction and design of the 45 car that will be moving from the standard class to the advances class. The 48 car will again race in the advanced class in it's final year of competition. The team will continue to work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and plans to put in a few long days over the Christmas break to stay on schedule.