This Place Is NUTS About Cars!

There’s not much to report about Missouri S&T’s progress, because as of about 4:00 p.m. local time, they were waiting their turn in line for scrutineering/safety inspection. Race officials are spending about an hour on each car, so even with eight inspection stations it’s taking a lot longer than hoped. If the judges find a problem it may be late tomorrow morning before the Miners get it fixed and qualify for dynamic testing.
S&T ended up next to their good friends from the University of Akron (left, shown actual size), and took the opportunity to relax and joke around. Both schools have strong tires to Goodyear, and often race against each other in Goodyear’s invitational FSAE event.
About being “nuts”………
Event sponsors from all over Europe are here looking for new employees, and are doing everything they can to get students’ attention. Slot-car racing in one tent, hand-eye-coordination games in another. Mercedes provides a full-sized driving simulator running a Play Station 3 program, while Continental Tires offers a free BBQ and gratis tire change services.
FeetDSC_7184.jpgMost sponsor booths are staffed by attractive young women who are probably local engineering students, and we’re guessing they speak at least three languages each, so this is NOT your usual car show in the good ol’ USA.
Earlier in the competition we saw a very powerful slogan in one team’s area that read:
One Team!
One Year!
One Goal!

Can’t think of a better description of the “who”, “when”, and “what” that makes up a student design team.
Walking through the waiting line we got a close-up look at other teams’ designs. There’s at least one car with the engine mounted to the driver’s side, which looks and sounds a little odd, but there are so many engine/drivetrain variations it’s hard to tell WHAT the preferred powerplant is.
And there are so many different approaches to teamwork it’ll make your head spin. One team member (at right, center) really put his head in to it. He stuck his torso so far up into the car’s nose he couldn’t get out, forcing his by-now laughing teammates to pull him out by his legs.
Central Germany is also an engineering student’s playpen! Half an hour east is the fabulous Technology Museum at Sinsheim where you can see the Concorde and the Soviet Union’s SST competitor, along with tons of automotive engineering feats. And check out the Russian Buran Space Shuttle at another Technik Museum just 30 minutes west!
Then there are the technologically challenged…….
S&T has a (sort of) German-speaking chauffeur who is very distrustful of GPS navigation systems. HATES them, to be frank.
Somebody programmed the car’s navigation system to provide turn-by-turn instructions. In Mandarin Chinese.
Remember, guys, revenge is a dish best served cold.