The newsletter of the Formula Student event in the United Kingdom is out, including some beautiful pictures and an accompanying story. Enjoy reading! The PDF version can be found here.
Dear reader, what an event it was. I thought the first day of statics (read FSUK Update 2) had cost me years of my life, but that was only the beginning. We’ve finally come back to Delft, with a trophy in hands, and only now I have the time to write down all that happened on the last day of FSUK. Pardon for being late, it will be better from now on!
The day actually started in a rather relaxed atmosphere (relatively speaking). The team briefing was still at 06:45, but we knew that we could be a bit slower: having won the autocross dynamic event, we knew we would be last to get on the endurance track, probably around 3 in the afternoon. However, a day at FSUK is never boring, and neither was this one. As the DUT14 was being set up for its endurance mode, all other teams already headed out on the track to start their endurance. Our team of strategists recorded laptimes, cones and other important performance-indicators of other teams: this would later on prove critical information on our driving strategy. They also attempted to keep a close eye on the weather, though this turned out to be really difficult: Silverstone seems to have its own micro-climate, and rainfall can only be predicted the moment it falls.
At 15:00, we headed out to the endurance track, and the team took place on the grand stands. There were some incredibly tough times to beat: Rennteam Stuttgart had lapped a time of on average 1 minute and 4 seconds according to our strategists, a time not easy to match. However, as our first driver, Tim de Moree headed out on the track, we were easily able to maintain our target laptime. After 11 laps, the time came for the driver change, and after Erik took place in the car, the DUT14 headed back to the track. It was then that it started. The car stopped driving on the track once, twice, three, four time! The atmosphere on the grandstands was tense to say the least: imagining seeing the car you have been working on for so long just plain stop dead on the track, then all of a sudden it starts driving again, then it stops again, and so on and so on? Four times? I am fairly certain some of our team members spontaneously have started to believe in a higher being right there and then. It would later turn out that the reason the car stopped was because of an issue in the electrical system, requiring a cycling of the low-voltage circuits.
Once Erik finally completed his last lap, we rolled in with a total time of 26 minutes on the track, putting us 7th on the endurance list. As the day drew to a close, we headed back to the pits and started cleaning up shop, along with the Delft truck. By the time the awards ceremony started, we had cleaned up the pits and truck, and we headed to the pavillion. We had no idea what’d be waiting for us: Rennteam Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and the Australian Monash had put down some killer times on the endurance, and we had not been able to calculate our or their efficiency score. Basically, we could be anywhere ranked between 5th and 1st on the overall scores.
As it turned out though, we had gathered enough points on the other events to be crowned Overall Winner of the Formula Student UK 2014 event! We are honored to have received this event, and we accept it with the important thought that we still have so much to learn for Formula Student Germany, two weeks from now. Thanks for supporting us, and we are looking forward to FSG!Read More
Ladies and gentlemen, what a day it was today. My heart nearly stopped four times and we had not even passed scrutineering yet, I think I lost 4 years on my life expectancy. However, all is well that ends well, and according to our prognostics, the final results of this FSUK2014 are looking pretty decent for the Delft team. Let’s take it from the top.
In the earliest of mornings, it was time for us to pass the last bits on scrutineering: the tilt, brake, noise and driver egress tests. It took slightly more time than expected, and meanwhile, the acceleration and skidpad dynamic events took place. Keep in mind, acceleration and skidpad can only be driven in the morning, until 12:30, after which they close. At 11:30, the car passed its last test, the brake test, and we could finally move on to the events, with an hour to go. That may sound like a decent amount of time, but when the two events are nearly across the track from eachother, you really notice how badly you need to start training again. Running all over the place! With the team from Zurich putting down some really great acceleration times, the pressure was on for us, but we still managed to hit the second best time. Same held for skidpad, and the DUT14 rolled out of the skidpad track at exactly 12:30. Talk about timing!
At 13:30, the autocross/sprint lap event started, and around 15:00 we got the DUT14 in line. Erik van den Berg was the first driver, and put down a seriously smashing time: 47 seconds, beating the fastest time at that point by nearly 4 seconds. However, he did hit a cone, which gave us a 2 second penalty, still putting us in first place. After that, driver Tim de Moree was on, and he too outdid Erik by a little, without any cones, putting us right at the top of autocross for the rest of the day!
Coming down to statics, sadly neither the Business plan nor the Cost & Sustainability events from our team made it into the finals. We got some feedback that we’re planning to take home and work hard on: for Formula Student Germany we really want to show them what we got! We did make it into the Design finals, and settled there into a fourth position.
Lastly, the first part of the Award Ceremony finished the day. We were honored to receive the Shell Engineering Excellence award for our hubless innerwheel packaging, thank you!
Tomorrow will be the biggest day: the endurance, 22 km of a tough track with a driver change at 11 km, will put an end to all doubts: winning or losing it will show what car will be the champion of FSUK2014. We’re keeping our eyes peeled on the weather, we’re expecting to drive in the afternoon, but that depends on a lot of factors. As always, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and G+ to stay tuned!Read More
Today was the day of statics! With an early morning briefing at 07 am British time, we got up with the British summer rain greeting us. With a delicious 9 degrees Celsius awaiting us, today would be the first day we would be able to earn some points! Design Judging started at 09:00, and 5 judges awaited us so we could tell them everything about the amazing design of the DUT14. It went well, we are having a good feeling about it, though we are definitely waiting for the results! After Design, the Cost & Sustainability event immediately followed, where Olaf and Damian could tell the judges everything about the manufacturing processes of the car and the implied costs. Once the Cost event was wrapped up, the car immediately moved back to scrutineering. Meanwhile, the Business Presentation was held at 14:00 and went well too: some valuable feedback was given, and we even got the unexpected attendance of one of the FSUK Head-judges! Stay posted on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to hear it first-hand once we get the results tomorrow!
We finished the day with scrutineering: we passed electrical scrutineering, driver egress is the last test for mechanical scrutineering, so tomorrow it’s rain-, brake-, tilt- and noise-test, and the first dynamic events will take place too! In the morning, acceleration and skidpad will take place, and in the afternoon the sprint will be held. It’s promising to be an exciting day: our competitors have designed some excellent cars, and we will have to bring our A-game if we want to stay ahead! Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and G+ to stay tuned on our FSUK results and beautiful pictures!Read More
Forty-nine team members are ready for the DUT14’s first Formula Student competition. Our new trailer – which serves as the mobile office -, and the truck – which houses the mobile workshop – have arrived in Silverstone. Our competition team has never been larger. We have built our campsite in the ‘neighborhood’ of the circuit, with daily trips through a forest and some countryside as a consequence.
The weather forecasts were quite negative, but we haven’t seen a single drop of rain so far! We might even run out of sunscreen in the coming days. Good!
In the opening ceremony we were mentioned for having the lightest electric car at the competition! The weight is even lower than we estimated during design. The weight will be lower than the planned 155 kilograms. The official weight of the car at the competition is something we want to keep as a surprise.
Scrutineering has started on Thursday. It was a slightly difficult start. Due to an administrative issue we had to wait in line for a few hours. Although the car was up for scrutineering at three o’ clock, we were unable to finish scrutineering before the end of the day.
Our schedule will more interesting on Friday. After finishing scrutineering, which includes a brake-test, a tilt-test, and a rain-test, we will be able to score some points. The business-presentation and the cost-report will present the business side of the car and show that the DUT14 is not only fast, but also feasible as a commercial product. During the Design Judging we wills show our engineering skills to the judges.
We are looking forward to some dynamic action! A parade with all the FSUK cars will be held Friday to fuel our passion.
The actual racing will take place on the coming days. Fresh videos and pictures will be posted on our Facebook page and Youtube channel regularly. So check ‘m!
The DUT14 is ready, has made its first meters, and is waiting impatiently to be unveiled to the world. We can’t tell you much yet, but what we can give away: the DUT14 drives like a dream, according to Tim de Moree, Team Manager and veteran driver at the team.
The DUT14 will be unveiled at the Markt in Delft at 15:00, and you are more than welcome to attend. The Facebook event can be found here.
See you there!Read More
Last time I wrote about my design of the Battery Management System of the DUT14. Waiting for the production and assembly was very nerve wrecking. I was very curious if all high voltage circuits would work. Luckily, all essential systems worked. In one of the optional systems, an addition of a resistor was enough to get it working. I have learned a lot from designing the BMS hardware. Not only engineering wise. In the past, teams were very sceptic of a self-designed BMS. Keywords were “complex, difficult”, “dangerous, 600 Volts”, “industry secret, patented”. This had made the completion of a working BMS even sweeter! This is the greatest thing I’ve learned in the Delft engineering team. To always think further and dare to do!Read More
We got our container delivered this month! So what do we need a container for? Well, our extended testing track, the old military airport of Valkenburg, is quite a distance from our offices here in Delft. We used to transport all of our testing gear up and down every day for testing. However, this year, especially with our own custom tires from Apollo, this proved to be a logistical nightmare. Therefore, we looked at the possibility of having our own dedicated storage facility at the airport. Thankfully, Valkenburg agreed, and we started contacting alumni to ask if they had a contact.Read More
We’re slightly late, sorry about that, but here it is: the April/May 2014 newsletter! We’re covering the second half of the monocoque production, along with an article on upright and accumulator production. Things are closing down for the DUT14 roll-out on the 13th of June here in Delft, we’ll keep you posted as we go along! You can find the PDF-version here.Read More