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Formula Student Austria Day IV

FSAEndurance Welcome to the last FSA blogpost!

After driving as fast as we could we managed to end in the top five teams at Autocross yesterday. This gave us a placement in the so called ‘Final Five’ at Endurance. This means that we are driving with the four other fastest teams at the end of the race. This has three advantages:

1: Quick cars are set up against each other so there will be a lot of overtaking action. It’s going to be exciting to watch!

2: The track is all rubbered up by the previous cars so there is more grip for the ‘Final Five’.

3: We have extra time to test and prepare the DUT14.

So, we are happy with our place in the Endurance order and are ready to give all we have on the 22km long stress test that is coming closer every minute. The difficulty lies in energy usage. A hundred points can be scored by driving efficiently, while 300 points can be scored with driving fast. Tuning this trade-off requires a lot of knowledge of our car and even watching it is nerve wrecking because you’ll want to see the car drive fast but you are afraid of technical failures or an empty battery. If something bad happens to the car and it can’t drive on its own power anymore, the team gets a Did Not Finish (DNF) and zero points. All will be lost if such a thing happens so imagine the tension and pressure on the team!

At the end of this nerve wrecking and important event we will have to empty and clean our pit and had back to camp to prepare for our departure tomorrow morning. But before we go back, we’ll head towards the award ceremony where we will find out who goes home victorious and who does not.

Afterwards we get to let go of everything at an awesome camping party! Having a drink with all of the international and like-minded students is the crown on top of our Formula Student season. And when we get back in Delft… work will start on the DUT15.

Keep watching FacebookTwitter and Google Plus for footage and results of this final day at FSA!

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Formula Student Austria Day III

Dear friends, family and fans,

The day is far from over but we already have a lot to tell you about, such as the first dynamic event here at Formula Student Austria: Skidpad! We ran the skidpad event in 5.037 seconds, which gave us a fourth place while the #1 was a only 0.104 seconds faster. You might not know this so we’ll take this opportunity to explain what skidpad, acceleration and autocross events are exactly. Don’t worry; we’ll keep it short and simple:

Skidpad is a short event where each car has to drive two circles in one direction and two in the other, to create a figure of eight. This requires extreme grip to avoid ‘drifting’ and control systems come in handy to stay on course. A skid pad time represents the average of the last lap in each direction and a maximum of 50 points can be scored at the skidpad event.

The acceleration event is simpler: Start from standstill and accelerate as fast as possible in a straight line to the finish 75 meters away. The DUT14 managed to finish in 3.559 seconds with a finish line speed of 121km/hour. Imagine driving like that! 75 Points can be scored here.

The autocross event is an actual race on a short 800 meter track with just one or two cars on track. A total of four laps are to be driven by two drivers. As usual, the fastest time wins. Autocross requires incredibly quick reflexes since the pace is high and hitting cones gives a penalty. The weather forecasts were pretty bad today so autocross could have been a good test for our custom Apollo rain tires. Also, wet tarmac brings out all potential of the control systems that our car has, such as torque vectoring, yaw rate and traction control. It didn’t rain in the end but we still managed to put down a solid 56 seconds at our fastest lap. 150 Points are to be scored here.

On a different note; we were in the design finals today! The results will be published at the award ceremony tomorrow so we don’t know exactly where we stand… But merely being in the design finals ensures a lot of points so this makes us happy motor-heads.

We are lucky to have even more good news for you to end this blogpost since something unique happened today. Laurent, our business presenter, was offered a second chance to present our business case. This means that we could very well be among the top five in the business event!

Tomorrow features two very important things for the DUT14 team: The endurance event and the award ceremony with an epic party afterwards.

Have you already seen the amazing pictures we took of all this today? Want to see more tomorrow? Then keep your eye on our social media for near-hourly updates.

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Formula Student Austria Day II

Hello world!

We are still alive and kicking after a Siberian night, as some of us called it, and are gradually moving through all of the competition phases. Although we finished most of the tech inspection early in the day, we ended up having difficulty with the brake test for a short while. The quick tech inspection gave us very useful time to test and tune our setup before the day ended. The paddock, which is the centre of Formula Student Austria, is an amazing place to be right now. Surrounding us are the continuous screaming of high powered motorcycles and cars on the Red Bull Ring while students are taking care of their car, scrutineering and all static events.

See this link for details regarding these ‘static’ events.

Besides the music being played on the paddock and the relaxed chatter of students, more serious tones could be heard; the convincing presentations for the business event, the accurate explanations at the cost event and the deep discussions during design judging.

As far as the static events go, the business presentation went great. Design judging came a couple hours later and was comparable to a ‘’hive’’ full of judges, DUT members and our car as queen in the centre. So intense! Cost judging came back to back after the design judging session and went just as planned. Overall we have a pretty good feeling about all our static events and now the wait for results has begun.

Tomorrow is going to be an amazing day with skidpad, acceleration and autocross. Have you seen our Delft Reports from FSG already? If not, have a look at Delft Report 4 and 5 to get a clear insider’s view of these exciting events. Only with video can we give you an impression of how mind blowing and fast-paced Formula Student really is.

The weather is going to change for the worse soon, so FSA might just be the event where we can show the true quality of our custom rain tires. We’re hoping that these tires can make the difference at the dynamic events of tomorrow and Wednesday.

Of course, we’ll make sure you won’t miss a thing by posting news, pictures and blogs on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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Formula Student Austria Day I

IMG_4339 After a very successful Formula Student UK and a third place in Germany, we have finally arrived at our last event this season; Formula Student Austria! We’ve tested and improved the DUT14 since Germany so our eye is on the prizes once more.
Our journey has been especially comfortable since we have been brought here in a luxurious first class touring car by (N. Mijnders B.V). With a trip of over fifteen hours, a little comfort is highly appreciated! We arrived in the small town of Spielberg well rested and eager to start building our pit and campsite. This campsite, by the way, lies among one of the most beautiful sceneries we’ve ever seen. Our 41 team members sleep with the exciting motorsport haven called the Red Bull Ring next to them and are surrounded by mountains and dense forests.
It didn’t take long before the first good news came: we were placed 22nd in the scrutineering queue, but were able to move some spots forward because we were early. This is a very welcome head start since this gives us extra time to test and practice on the Red Bull Ring! Tonight we managed to pass electrical scrutineering too!
Since FSA is a very compact event, the first points are to be scored tomorrow already. We’ll present our car with the business case, design judging and our cost report. Have you ever wondered what these things are exactly? Let me explain.
Cost judging is the event where a small group of judges discusses a previously made cost report. This report contains all of the thousands of parts in the car, and information regarding materials and manufacturing methods. This forces teams to have accurate administration and enables us to make precise estimations of what our car costs when made as a prototype (like the DUT14) and as a mass produced car. A maximum of 100 points can be scored with the cost event.
Design judging is a short but intense session where multiple judges inspect the car and ask questions about the applied concepts they see. Their aim is to find out if we truly understand our own car and are able to justify al decisions we have made in the design process. This way, they can see the quality of our engineering skills. A maximum of 150 points can be scored here.
The business presentation is our chance to present our ability to develop and deliver a business case that could convince judges acting as a fictional corporation that our formula student vehicle is interesting for amateur weekend racers.
We won’t be making any Delft Reports here so all updates will go through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Keep checking, and pictures will be posted daily!

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3rd place overall Formula Student Germany Electric

10476343_10152181753481104_8099767513405383132_o It’s been a long competition, and here we are at the end, 3rd place overall in the electric class of Formula Student Germany! Along with an overall win on Skidpad, 3rd place on design, and the Audi light-weight award, we’re happy to bring it to a satisfactory end. We are looking forward to put the DUT14 one last time to the test in Formula Student Austria in the coming weeks!

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FSUK 2014 Newsletter

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.

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FSUK Wrap-up: bringing home the trophy!

FSUK 2014 Champions! 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! 

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FSUK Update 3: Dynamics Part I

10317759_10152132687366104_1602943530212801262_o 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!

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FSUK Update 2: Statics Day!

FSUKFb-2731  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!

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FSUK14 UPDATE 1: We have arrived!

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!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DUTRacingteam
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/dutracing

FSUK2014

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