Page 1 Writers and Editors: Marjo Mallari Ross Fraser, Manuel Mangrobang, Dustin Decker, Robby Sampson, Moy Barajas

Ross Fraser arly this month Spartan Racing made our way in to the Silicon Valley International Auto Show. We set up a booth in our continuous attempt to meet new people and make connections but of course we made time to check out the newest vehicles available for 2012. I was most excited to see one of the new Fiat 500s but ended up disappointed. I was hoping that a little European flavor in an American company would help to improve Chrysler’s products, but it seems that they only managed to make the Fiat feel small and cheap. I got an alternate opinion from a young man named Troy who was looking at the same car as me. Troy thought the car was super cool and wants one when he gets old enough to drive. There were few cars that seemed original or innovative at the show but one that comes to mind is the Scion IQ. It seems perfect that the compact vehicle manufacturer would eventually build a micro car to compete with the likes of the Smart Car. The worst feature a manufacturer was touting this year was the new Dodge Challenger’s driver side fuel filler door, and the best was Mercedes’ trunk bag. The Mercedes S-Line can come equipped with a drawer mounted within the trunk that you can pull out and transform in to a bag to keep items from rolling around the trunk; an interesting little feature. It was great to get my hands on this year’s newest vehicles and see what today’s automotive engineers can do and I am now more confident than ever that the next generation of engineers that Spartan Racing is molding will be more impressive.




Morgan Crouch

his month, Spartan Racing was honored to be invited to SAE Mid-Cal section's Collegiate Design Series Outreach event. SAE partnered with World Speed Motorsports to host teams from four schools, as well as numerous industry professionals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. In addition to our Formula and Hybrid/Electric teams, teams from Sacramento State, UC Merced, and UC Berkeley also attended. In addition to seeing a presentation given by one of our own alumni, Joey Penniman, we had the opportunity to network with other teams as well as the professionals themselves, who spent three hours answering questions about design review. We also had the chance to give feedback to Kinelogic, a company based in Sacramento that is marketing a data-acquisition system tailored to FSAE teams. Moy Barajas, the FSAE Powertrain Team lead, had this to say about the event: “[I] had a good conversation with Paul Hasselgren about engine stuff...regarding valve overlap and muffler design... He basically confirmed some assumptions I had, but also raised more questions I'm interested in testing.” Robby Sampson, the FSAE Chief Engineer: “The event was very well organized and had a bigger turnout than we expected.” He went on to say that the event benefited the team most by getting team members in the proper mindset for a design review, and kicking off design binder material preparation. This turned out to be quite a valuable outing and hope we are invited to this event again next year. he Formula Team’s 2012 challenger, SR-4 began to taking shape on January 16th with the arrival of our chassis tubing. All of our steel tubing arrived laser cut and ready for welding thanks to the awesome folks over at Carroll Racing Development in Orange, CA ( The weeks prior were spent preparing Robby Sampson and assembling the frame welding fixtures. Once the tubing arrived, we didn’t waste any time getting to work. Thanks mainly in part to the oversight of our Manufacturing Lead, Ryan Sharp, three days after delivery every tube had been tacked in place and in another few days the tubes were almost fully welded, the engine had been test fit, and the frame was ready for brackets. Because many other components require a completed chassis the real manufacturing can finally begin.


FORMULA u p d a t e Robby Sampson

January has been a tense month as we try to pick up steam after the break, but we all feel confident about our current progress. The Chassis Team has nearly finished manufacturing the frame and the engine has been test fit to ensure proper mounting and clearance. The next step is the design and manufacture of a rig for testing the torsional rigidity and structural efficiency of the frame. The data from the chassis tests are important to the design judging portion of our competition and give us reassurance of the frame’s strength. The Suspension Team has been well underway manufacturing the smaller components of the spring/damper systems, including the bell cranks, brackets, and the numerous inserts and spacers. The tedious manufacturing of the major components of the wheel package, specifically the hubs, uprights, and wheel centers, have also begun, and should be completed in the coming weeks. Assembly and manufacturing of the control arms and brackets will begin shortly as well. Morgan Crouch, Suspension Lead, has done a great job motivating himself and his subteam and it shows. Of all the subteams the Powertrain Team has made perhaps the most progress over the winter months. Moy Barajas, our Powertrain Lead, opened our engine and completed the numerous modifications we had planned. These included removing the top two gears in the transmission, increasing the compression ratio, and adjusting the intake and exhaust cam timing. The engine block and covers have been painted following this year’s black and teal paint scheme. The intake system is currently in its final design phase, and components of the oil and fuel systems have begun manufacturing. The team hopes to begin initial testing and verification of the engine modifications by installing the engine into SR-3, our 2011 car, in the near future. Our Composites/Aero Team has decided not to continue further development of a rear floor diffuser due to time and resource issues. However, they are still working diligently to finalize designs for the essential sidepods and nosecone. Next, Composites plans to begin structural testing the carbon fiber structural floor panels. We would also like give big thanks to our new sponsor, Axiom Materials, Inc. (, who donated enough preimpregnated composites to last us for a long while. Welcome to the team. Our Electronics and Firmware team successfully assembled our new Megasquirt III ECU and are beginning to put together the wiring harness so that engine testing and troubleshooting can begin.

ELECTRIC u p d a t e Manuel Mangrobang


his winter break, Electric has not been able to move forward with manufacturing. Frame design has been finalized with electrical components in mind, but the frame jig and frame manufacturing has crawled to a standstill. Yet again, this team is behind.

On the bright side, the Electrical Sub team has been able to move forward. We have finally decided on what components to use. The car will be using the same electric powertrain as that of the road-going motorcycles from Zero Motorcycle, the same batteries, motors, and motor controllers. All we need to go ahead with the purchase is to arrange a price and find the funds.

We have discussed making the Formula Electric car a two year project, yet even with the amount of delays the team still wants to make the car as a one year project. Changing to a two year schedule would surely cause a plummet in team moral. For now we are committed to working hard to achieve our goal but will reevaluate if it becomes necessary.

BAJA u p d a t e Dustin Decker


he Baja team has been working outside of the shop notching tubing and beginning to weld our frame together. We built a set-up that will allow for the frame to be completed outside of our shop since space has become limited. By the beginning of February we plan on finalizing our gearbox design but keeping to our timeline is proving harder than expected. There are some near future purchases, such as axles, tires and rims, safety gear, shocks, and brakes that we need to deal with. This year we plan on upgrading our shocks, if funding will allow, to adjustable float shocks so we can better tune the suspension. The axles will be out of a Yamaha ATV and should fit up nicely to our differential. With the start of classes, shop problems and most of our team working to pay for school, finding a time and place to work on the vehicle is becoming our biggest obstacle. In an effort remedy the problem we have set aside weekends throughout the semester dedicated to working on the vehicle so that we can get back on schedule.

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Spartan Racing February Newsletter  
Spartan Racing February Newsletter  

Spartan Racing February Newsletter