Built in 2005, Vicki was the product of the largest DFR team in the program’s history. Eight B.E. teams totaling 24 students and almost a dozen other volunteers put in the countless hours to bring Vicki from concept to rubber-burning reality. The increased interest allowed the team to expand into new areas, with a focus on increasing the program’s depth in advanced vehicle dynamics, and improving the knowledge transfer among students from year-to-year.
Vicki’s design highlights include:
• Two-pedal driving system with a steering wheel-mounted clutch to allow for left-foot braking and better engine speed management exiting turns.
• Electronically-actuated pneumatic shifting with automatic spark interrupt for seamless shifts.
• Custom-ground camshafts, vacuum-cast lightweight plastic intake manifold, and extensive engine tuning on DFR’s newly installed eddy-current dynamometer.
• Custom designed and built onboard data acquisition system for real-time engine and dynamic performance monitoring.
• Lightest overall weight for a DFR car to that point: 472lbs.
Vicki was completed in time to allow for a testing and tuning trip over Spring Break to Texas. Additional track days in and around Hanover gave the team the time and experience necessary to deliver a well-tuned and reliable car to the FSAE competition in Detroit, where Vicki took 19th place out of a field of 122 teams. For the second year in a row, DFR traveled to the UK FSAE event and left with a top 10 finish (9th out of 57 teams). The following fall, a corrupted ECU lead to a massive engine failure during a track day. Vicki found new life and a new drivetrain through the flourishing Formula Hybrid Team.