In the past ten months of our project, we have developed, built and tested a Formula Student race car. Last Tuesday the big moment of departure to the first competition had come. Finally, the team got the opportunity to validate their work on the Euroring near Budapest, against the competitors from all over Europe. In the hot weather, the team was able to demonstrate the skills they learned: second places in engineering design and cost analysis led to the third-best performance of all 41 participating teams in the static disciplines.
Formula Student East
The 2017 season started with a premiere. For the first time, the trip to races all over Europe started with the Euroring near Budapest. Past autumn the organizers of Formula Student Germany published a new set of rules. These are not compatible with the traditional rules published by the FSAE. Thus, since this season, there are two different set of rules, according to which the teams can develop their cars. Together with the other top teams of Formula Student Electric, AMZ decided to design their new vehicle according to the rules of Formula Student Germany. The competition in Silverstone, however, adheres to the old rules of the FSAE. For this reason, the team decided to go to Hungary to race against 40 fellow Formula Student teams.
Friday was dedicated to the static disciplines, starting with the Engineering Design Event. Experts from the automotive industry tried to assess the understanding of the students with demanding questions. The engineers in training were able to convince the judges with their solid overall conceptual understanding and structured procedure as well as their unique hydraulic suspension and were rewarded with a spot in the design finals! Design Finals were held ouitside. Candlelight and quiet music made for a special ambience. The eight participating teams were each questioned by different judges for five minutes each. The tricky questions challenged the knowledge of the students and ensured some spinning heads.
Before the race, AMZ was in third place in the overall ranking, just behind the two teams from Stuttgart and Delft respectively. pilatus started well and set some fast lap times. The only concern at this moment was the weather. Like the day before, the rain radar was constantly monitored. Unfortunately it began to rain during the drivers change halfway through the race. The rain soon became so heavy, that the race was interrupted. After a few minutes of waiting, the rain stopped and the race could be continued. With each lap, the track became drier and the lap times became quicker. pilatus and the two drivers were on course to a strong finish. About half a lap before the end, pilatus suddenly slowed considerably and came to a halt. Despite all the efforts of the driver, the car could not be restarted. The endurance was over; deep disappointment set in. With regard to the next races, the team immediately turned towards localizing the problem. The core of the problem was soon found: mechanical damage to the powertrain had caused the breakdown. The prospect of a podium finish was gone.
In the evening, the teams gathered for the award ceremony. AMZ’s strong performance in the static disciplines was rewarded with three trophies. A 2nd place in Engineering Design, 2nd place in Cost and an overall 3rd place in the statics rewarded the good job of the young engineers. In the Dynamics, a third place in the Skidpad race was celebrated. Due to the failed endurance, all hope for a podium finish in the overall ranking was lost. The team finished 11th place overall. Nevertheless, the team coped with the defeat and turned to the festive final evening of the event. While enjoying 30 kg of Raclette the team and the unique Formula Student Community spent a pleasurable final night in Hungary.