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Being a former Formula SAE team member, the best advice I can give is:
1) Study the winning cars from the last 5 to 10 years and improve upon those designs.
2) Work quickly to get a running car because seat time for your drivers will save more time on the track than a perfect body or CFD designed intake runners.
3) light weight means much more than a big aero package - you'll never go fast enough in the parking lot of the silverdome to really explote a low drag aero package.
4) Do not skimp on a wheel and suspension alignment. It always amazed me how many teams never bothered to do this step and then wondered why the car never drove well on the track.
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