Formula North is a Canadian Formula Student-style competition. The purpose of the competition is to promote the awareness of practical engineering experience and student innovation through creating a competitive Canadian platform for Canadian and International teams alike.
Teams take on the assumption that they are a manufacturer developing a prototype to be evaluated for production and a group of developers are interested in investing in their project. The intended sales market is the non-professional weekend autocrosser. Therefore, the car must have very high performance in terms of its acceleration, braking and handling qualities. The car must be low in cost, easy to maintain and reliable. In addition, the car’s marketability is enhanced by other factors such as aesthetics, comfort and use of common parts. In short, would you, the weekend autocrosser, be interested in purchasing one of these vehicles?
The challenge to the design team is to design and fabricate a prototype that best meets these goals and intents. Over the course of a four day competition, a jury of experts from the motorsport, automotive and supplier industries judge the design, cost and business planning of all the teams to determine the best team and vehicle; in addition the team’s on-track performance scores will demonstrate how well they hold up under real life conditions.
The Formula North competition will be divided into 2 categories of events: Static and Dynamic.
|ENGINEERING DESIGN EVENT
Teams must submit an 8-page design report to convince judges of the construction and performance of their vehicle. At the event, judges examine the car and question teams on their engineering design goals, program simulations and vehicle testing results.
As costs play an important factor in building a race car, teams must put together a ‘Cost Report’ that contains a list of all components ‒ from wheels to manufacturing processes to labor costs for special tools. Judges then evaluate the clarity and accuracy of the report by comparing the document with the life-size construction.
Teams must present a business plan for the built prototype to a group of industry professionals. Teams must try to convince their audience that their car meets the demands of an amateur weekend autocross racer and that it can be produced and marketed profitably. Judges score teams on content, structure, organization and delivery of the presentation.
The self-built cars drive on a track in the shape of an 8. There are two consecutive laps on each circle, with the second laps being timed. The cars demonstrate with a fast lap time how much lateral acceleration they can generate (up to 1.4g).
The student cars prove their accelerating abilities over a distance of 75 meters. The fastest need less than 4 seconds.
A course of perhaps one kilometer through straights and curves. The lap time serves as indicator for driving dynamics and handling qualities. The results of the Autocross discipline determine the starting order of the Endurance.
Providing the highest number of points, the Endurance is the main discipline. Over a distance of 22 kms the cars have to prove their durability under long-term conditions and the drivers’ handling skills are put to the test. A driver change takes place after 11 kms.
Fuel efficiency is one of the most important car buying criteria. OEMs are competing each other trying to achieve higher energy efficiency. Internal combustion teams that successfully complete the Endurance event are weighed. Their final weight is compared to their original weight when filled up and teams are awarded points based on the amount of fuel used. Electric cars‘ energy consumption is recorded with an energy meter 400 times per second, giving a very precise measurement of the amount of energy used by the car.