After four grueling days in the summer heat of Lincoln, Nebraska, the Mines Formula team walked away with a new school record by placing 26th out of 80 teams. For the second time in school history, the team completed every single event without failure.
Paddock 99 stayed quite busy during the four day competition in late June. Team members were quick to solve problems as they came up between the events. First, an electrical issue hindered the MF5 from passing the sound test, as the main kill switch was malfunctioning. The fuel pump was also shorting out, causing inconsistent fuel delivery. The team was able to fix the electrical problems just as the sun was setting on day two. Driver practice during the third day resulted in a broken shifter cable, ruining any chance for a second attempt at the skid pad. Thanks to a neighboring paddock lending a #10-32 die, the team was able to fix the cable and get the car back out for a second attempt at the acceleration event.
On day four, fans and team members were on the edge of their seats during the final and most important event: endurance. An engine overheating issue, caused by poor airflow to the ducted radiator, nearly caused the ECU to initiate an emergency shut down. This would have lead to immediate disqualification and loss of at least 300 (out of 1000 total for the entire competition) points. Thanks to less aggressive driving, the two drivers were able to maintain a manageable engine temperature and guide the car through all 16 laps.
Although the team didn't reach their goal of scoring in the top 20, their performance in Lincoln is sure to draw more attention from the school administration and prospective sponsors. Mines Formula is on their way to becoming a top tier team, and isn't wasting any time in preparation for the 2017/2018 race season.