Dartmouth Formula Racing

To learn more about Dartmouth Formula Racing, please visit their main website (opens in a new window).

Dartmouth Formula Racing (DFR) is a student-run organization comprised of 10-30 dedicated students trying to build a competitive racing car. The organization was founded in 1995-1996. DFR students have always strived to design, build, test, and race formula styled cars in competitive events across the country, which involves participation of students from across the globe.

Thayer engineering students began exploring and designing the hybrid car in early 2003. However, they were not allowed to participate in the Formula SAE event due to the ban on hybrid cars. This led to the formation of the Formula Hybrid International Competition, sponsored by SAE, IEEE, and Thayer School of Engineering. The event has grown manifold since its initiation. Simultaneously, DFR has been working on improvising and building better versions of its hybrid car, while delving into the FSAE models too.

Involvement of DFR with the Machine Shop

The machine shop plays a huge role in the fabrication of the different parts involved in the assembly of the hybrid car. The DFR team goes through the planning, fabrication, assembly, testing, and test driving phases during the course of the year, as they prepare for the Formula Hybrid competition. Modifications are generally made to the previous car to get a lighter and quicker race car. Fabrication accounts for the maximum time investment, as making the different parts as per specifications is quite a task. The machine shop instructors share their knowledge and experience with the students. Discussions about feasibility and applicability of the different parts occur, leading to the final fabrication and assembly of the car.

 Photo Credit: Justin Samuels ’12 

The final but important stage is testing where different drivers test drive the car and the fastest driver, the driver with the best average, the driver with the best acceleration, etc., are selected. Thus, all the stages are time and resource consuming, but at the end of it, a competent car is produced and the overall experience is rewarding.