Charged with designing, building, and testing a racecar, the student-led Rutgers Formula Racing team competes each year along with other university teams at an international competition. In October, they launched a crowdfunding campaign through the Rutgers University Foundation website to raise $10,000 in donations to help improve this year’s vehicle and increase their competitive chances.
The campaign, which ended on December 10, raised nearly $11,000, with donations ranging from $50 to $2,000. The funds will go towards purchasing materials for the new car and manufacturing various parts.
The team designs their own parts and will be using this year carbon fiber, a lightweight yet tough material, for the body. They have also designed their own suspension and chassis, which the funds will help in purchasing the necessary materials. Other funds will let them buy new shock absorbers, specialized aluminum that is both strong and light, and a computer that will allow them to properly test the car and make sure it is safe.
During the campaign the team explained what changes they were making from the previous year, including a redesign from their traditional three-cylinder engine to a lighter one-cylinder type. Redesigning the body using software and running simulations with a computer will help them create the most efficient design possible.
RFR will continue to improve their design as they build the car over the next several months in preparation for the May 2016 competition that will pit them against schools from around the country and across the world.