Panther Motorsports SAE Michigan Competition

Our team of 58 college students have been working vigorously over the past 9 months designing and manufacturing a small scale Formula 1 car almost from scratch. Every year, we compete in what's called the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers competition. The Formula SAE® series competition challenge teams of university undergraduate and graduate students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop, and compete with small, formula-style vehicles. The competitions give teams the chance to demonstrate and prove both their creativity and engineering skills in comparison to teams from other universities around the world. All cars are different in that they feature their own unique designs and functionalities, but all fall within a certain set of rules to make the competition fair.  Our design has drastically improved from last years' and features an all new chassis, suspension system, brake system, carbon fiber body, and more! It is powered by a Yamaha YFZ-450R ATV engine which makes close to 43 horsepower and 33 ft. lb of torque to the wheels. We spent the entire fall semester designing and prototyping the car using CAD software and 3D printing and the entire spring semester manufacturing and testing. It can be both grueling and painstaking to bring this car into fruition. The closer the deadline, the more all nighters we have to pull, the more weekends we have to sacrifice, and the more we have to sustain the discomfort and uncertainty of the future. On top of that, we are students who take full time undergraduate course loads, and must do well in that to even be part of such an organization. Passion is a necessary ingredient.

But when all is said and done, and that car is rolling on 4 wheels under its own power: all that stress, anxiety, pressure, and discomfort COMPLETELY MELT AWAY as we witness our imagination come to life.

We have an entire machine shop open 24/7 with a variety of tools ranging from mills to lathes to drill presses to welding machines that are used by the students to produce this car.  If we can manufacture it, we will. Otherwise, it will be outsourced to one of our sponsors, which are usually local machine shops or manufacturing plants.  Our team features over 15 leaders and co-leaders, who oversee specific parts of the car, such as:

- Powertrain
- Chassis  
- Aerodynamics
- Ergonomics
- Suspension
- Drivetrain
- Electrical
- Data Acquisition

Each leader is responsible for making sure their specific section is fully functioning and integrated with the rest of the car.  If this doesn't happen properly, we risk having serious safety problems, performance losses, and drivability issues.  So far, everything is functioning wonderfully and the build is coming together smoothly.  Once complete, the car will go through a series of test runs to provide our Data Analysis team with real time data about the car.  This information can then be relayed to other teams so they can understand where to tweak the car.

Competition is approaching and we really hope to retain our title of being number one in Florida. However, we cannot make this happen if we don't have the means to travel there! Thats why this GoFundMe was created: to give you the opportunity to help contribute to our travel expenses to Michigan.  Once we reach our goal, we will be able to get roughly 25 of our members up to Michigan. We sincerely appreciate any monetary contributions to fund this tremendously worthwhile project.

We are the future Engineers of America, and these kinds of competitions will keep us in the forefront of American Engineering. 

Organizer and beneficiary

Brandon Flores
Miami, FL
Ignacio Hernandez

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