Month: June, 2012
For the first time in history, an all-female team comprised of high school freshmen, won the national competition at Michigan Speedway. In a sport traditionally dominated by men, Team Shift, comprised of Kelly Fitzgerald, Sabine Saldanha, Claire McCoy and Anna Awwald, now prepare for the World Championships in Abu Dhabi at the end of October, where they will represent the United States against 38 other teams.
Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) employees had the rare opportunity to meet the Formula One racing team, who dropped by the Atlanta headquarters on June 22nd. The four young women are from the Greater Atlanta area and compete in F1 for Schools which is part of the largest and most successful school-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program in the world.
F1 in Schools challenges students aged 9 to 19 to design, build, and race a Formula One model car that is catapulted via CO2 cartridges down a track of only about 30 feet. Due to the short track distance, one can visualize that victory and defeat can be determined by 1/100 of a second.
Using the latest CAD methods and aerodynamic computer programs, the girls are building a completely new and further developed race car. Rather than a high-tech laboratory, their workshop is a family garage and instead of highly specialized engineers, they rely on their own creativity and imagination.
“F1 in Schools and the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) International has provided Team Shift with an educational experience well beyond the classroom,” said Team Shift coach Liz Fitzgerald. “They have had the opportunity to not only apply their engineering, technology and design skills but also learn the power of teamwork. These are lessons they will carry throughout their lives. Participating in Abu Dhabi will be the pinnacle of the team’s racing endeavors, but to get there, we are in dire need of further sponsorships and individual donations, however small.”
Porsche Cars North America is supporting Team Shift’s efforts to promote engineering and technical professions among high school students. PCNA’s German parent company, Porsche AG, is a main proponent of the German government’s initiative “Girls for Cars” where automotive apprenticeships are dedicated to female candidates.
Initial prototypes of the Porsche 918 Spyder have been completed and the project is moving into the next phase. The 918 Spyder will go into production at the end of September 2013 as planned, with the first customers receiving their vehicles before 2013 comes to an end. “What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency, and performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.
Porsche’s latest supercar is a plug-in hybrid and utilizes a 570 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 coupled with two electric motors, one acting on the rear wheels rated at 120 horsepower and another acting on the front axle rated at 110 hp for a total output of around 800 horses.
The images seen here are of the 918 Spyder prototypes sporting camouflage reminiscent of the Porsche 917 racing cars, which supposedly signal the near completion of the latest model. They make use of full carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system. The 918 Porsche Spyder offers a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance is capable of in the future.