Unfortunately this would be the only Dynamic event RIT would compete in. Their stellar Static scores, combined with their third in Autocross allowed them to pull out a 26th place finish overall. Obviously their car was quick. I never visited their pit, so I do not know what happened to their car. Rounding out the Top 5 in Autocross were Colorado State with a time of 56.408 seconds and Texas A&M with a time of 56.461 seconds.
Once again Missouri struts their stuff by blitzing the competition in Autocross.
The final event of the competition is a double-whammy: Endurance and Fuel Economy. Before the cars grid, they are filled with fuel. They are then put in line (in reverse order of their Autocross finishing position) and set on a 19 lap, 22 km sprint, with a driver change on lap 9. Other than adjusting the seat, belts, etc. for the driver, no changes or repairs may be made to the car once it sets off. If the car fails to finish the 22 km, it is disqualified and gets a zero for Fuel Economy and a low score for Endurance. The two events combine for 400 points-nearly half of a team’s final score.
A typical Enduro pit stop involves a lot of butt crack. The judges look on to make sure the teams only adjust driver controls. Suspension changes, repairs, and touching anything other than the driver controls will DQ a car.
Doing well in both events can make or break a team. Very few teams finish the Enduro and to say you have finished is a great achievement indeed. Out of the 50 teams that set off, only 24 would finish this year’s Enduro. That may sound bad, but it is actually very high for an SAE Enduro. The competition has heated up and every point is valuable. Not only do you have to finish the Enduro, but you have to finish well in both events to have a hope of winning overall.
The feeling of finishing the Enduro. Some of you may be noticing the rain tires. About that…
With the Endurance runs set for Saturday, teams went to bed with prayers of their car finishing the strenuous run. However when cars were unloaded on Saturday, we were greeted with an unwelcome surprise:
Well this certainly doesn't happen in California!
Just before the first teams started staging their cars for the Enduro, the heavens opened. One of my teammates described things as “the part in Twister just before the tornado touches down. All we need is a pickup truck with a thousand lights on it, an oil drum full of soda cans, and Helen Hunt!” The rain threw a monkey wrench in the schedule and delayed the start of the Enduro for 90 minutes. It also royally screwed the teams that had to run first. As the first cars treaded (very lightly) onto the Enduro track, the clouds rolled away and the sun started to shine. This meant the first half-dozen cars ran on an absolutely soaked track, while the latter teams would get a warm, dry surface to race on. Guess that’s a good reason to run faster on the Autocross: The fastest Autocross teams get to run later in the day. Anyway, The University of Calgary would be the first team on the track.
Immediately their throttle stuck open. They only completed one lap before being black flagged and pulled off course. University of Arizona would be the first car to complete more than a lap. The water was so bad, their first lap time was an abysmal 158.769 seconds! By the end of their first stint, they would turn a 113.423 (sadly, they were unable to start their second stint).
Arizona's stunning polished aluminum car would only go 9 laps before failing to finish the Enduro. They were shouldered with the wettest track and were really given quite a disadvantage.