Slice of Life

Syracuse University’s formula racing team is about to unveil a car built from scratch

Courtesy of Citrus Racing

Citrus Racing, SU's formula racing club, will unveil its second car design — Citrus Racing Model 2. Thirty students worked on the design every week over the past year.

UPDATED: May 2, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

Engineering students in Syracuse University’s formula racing club, Citrus Racing, will unveil their new car at a launch event Tuesday in Link 369. Their CR2 — which stands for Citrus Racing Model 2 — will race at events over the summer. The Daily Orange sat down with Citrus Racing’s incoming president, John Gang, to talk about the CR2.

The Daily Orange: Tell me about the car.

John Gang: We build the entire car from scratch in the engineering hall every year. Some components are outsourced that we can’t build, like the tires, parts of the engine and some components we can’t manufacture in house, but the majority of it we do ourselves. We buy all the tubes, cut them to size, weld it all together. The engine has a custom intake, custom exhaust. The whole steering system, breaking system, we all designed. Some components we obviously can’t make, but it’s vastly a design, manufacturing and testing process throughout the whole year so there’s a lot that goes into it.

The D.O.: Is there a specific name for this car?

J.G.: Yes, so CR2, that’s Citrus Racing 2, because it’s our second car. Two years ago we built our first car, and next year we will be building the CR3.

This car has been on a two-year design cycle. So we started designing last year, and next year we’re looking to build the entire thing in one year this time, so essentially doubling our production. Next year we got a lot coming towards us, that’s why we spent the extra year in design for CR2, to make sure the design is a lot better. Because we are a very young team — other schools have had teams for 20 years — and this is our second car.

The D.O.: How many of you are there working on this car?

J.G.: The numbers fluctuate. I’d say there’s 10 team leaders who, every week, put in 10 hours a week. And then there’s about 30 kids in total who are involved at least every week doing something.

The D.O.: What is the launch event?

J.G.: So (Tuesday) is the unveiling, so 2-4 p.m., we’re going to show off the car, where all the students, sponsors and faculty. We have a tarp over the car and it gets pulled off and everyone can see our finished product. The team will be there to answer questions, so if people have questions about the car, the design process, how it works. For students if they want to get involved, we do that. It’s more of an informal thing, stop by, see the car, that sort of thing.

The D.O.: What does building this second car — and building two cars in three years — mean for you guys?

J.G.: It’s a major milestone for us, two years ago the CR1, we placed 66 out of 80 at a formula race in Nebraska. This year we’re looking to do a lot better. The CR2 is definitely a lot better than the CR1. It’s about 50 pounds lighter, which, for a 500-pound car, that’s 30 percent. In the future, we’re hoping to go to formula Michigan.

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, the percentage difference of the CR1 and CR2 models’ weights was misstated. The percentage difference of the CR1 and CR2 models’ weights is 30 percent. The Daily Orange regrets this error.


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