On Wednesday the 3rd July, UH Racing embarked on the relatively short distance to Silverstone International Circuit, based in Northamptonshire. The first order of business was to sort out the team’s pit garage. With fantastic help and support from the team, Grand Design Systems were able to get the pit garage set up.
Thursday was a case of getting into scrutineering and through it quickly. As we were first in the queue for scrutineering we were able to get through the entire process quickly. There are numerous different tests to pass before being allowed to compete. The process began with Technical Scrutineering. This involved checking that all of the regulations had been adhered to such as the widest track width and wheelbase length as well as the gap between the top of the drivers head and the roll hoops. Driver egress was also part of technical scrutineering which involves the driver being buckled in and getting out of the car in less than 5 seconds.
Up next was safety. This is to check that all of the safety devices in the car function as required and will protect the driver in the event of an accident. Chassis inspection was the 3rd part of scrutineering. Chassis inspection involved the tubes for the main components of the Chassis complying with the rules and regulations set out. The car was also weighed and came in at 210.5kg.
To complete the scrutineering the team was left with the tilt test, the noise test and a brake test. The car was fuelled and ready to go for these final tests. The first one the team completed was the tilt test; this is to check whether or not the car leaks fluid at 45° and if anything falls of at 60°. The car passed this test with flying colours. Although the driver was not too keen on being in the car during the test. The penultimate test was the brake test. This is to check that the driver can apply the appropriate amount of brake pressure when required in order to stop fully. This is check by the driver accelerating and then hitting the brakes and locking all 4 wheels at the same time.
Finally it was time for the noise test. This is to ensure that the car’s silencer does not exceed 110dB. Once again there were no issues with passing this test. Once all of these tests were completed, the entire scrutineering process was complete. The team were the second car to complete the entire process and had been able to do so in a single day. This enabled the team to give the drivers added seat and testing time. As well as allowing the rest of the team to prepare for the following day and the various static events that were planned.
Friday was our day for static events. First up was design. The team handled themselves very well when being asked about reasoning behind the decisions made during the design as well as what the significance of it all was. The team were also asked about how they justified their designs and how they came up with those justifications. With the design qualifiers over it was time for the cost event. In which the team were asked to justify the reasons behind the design from a cost and budget point of view. The team handled themselves extremely well and the requisite judges were all very impressed with the team. The final static event for the day was the business event. In which Keval Morarjee and Nicky Pisano acquitted themselves very well.
The team came 3rd in the Cost Event qualifiers, 10th in the Design Event and unfortunately 42nd in the Business event. Placing 3rd in the qualifiers for Cost enabled us to take part in the Cost event Final. In which the team once again acquitted themselves very well and were unfortunate to place any higher than 3rd.
Saturday saw the start of the Dynamic Events. It began with the team deciding to run the acceleration and skid pan events in order for both drivers. It began with Will Farrar running the acceleration first and getting a fantastic time of 4.174s with a second time just a little slower. Next up for Will was Skidpan. He set another incredible time of 4.970s. This was a great effort and stood us in good stead for the rest of the dynamic events to follow. Rich Mitchell was the second driver for the same events after limited seat time in the car he did incredibly well with a fastest time of 4.183s on his second run placing the team 15th. With a Skidpan time of 5.190s this put us in 5th place for skidpan.
The rest of the day involved setting the car up for the Sprint event and then competing in it. Our first driver for the event was Matt Grant, BUKC Champion, who put in a safe fast lap of 56.5s and then a faster more aggressive second lap which was a lap time of 54.3s although he hit a cone which unfortunately incurs a 2s penalty per cone hit. This resulted in a lap time of 56.3s. The second driver was Tony Carozza, also a BUKC Champion. He played it safe for a first lap as well setting a time of 56.781s and the second was again more aggressive setting a 54.142 although it incurred a 4s penalty due to hitting 2 cones. The team placed 15th in the Sprint Event.
Sunday saw the main event of the Competition take place, The Endurance event. A 22km race against the clock including a driver change after 11km. Matt Grant took on the responsibility of the opening 11km. The opening 11km was a display in fine car control and speed. Setting a blistering pace, catching on the University of Stuttgart Car ahead on track. At the driver change all went well, with Tony Carozza taking control of the car for the remaining 11km. Unfortunately 3 laps into the remaining 11 an electrical issue reared its head and caused the car to stop functioning resulting in a very disappointing DNF.
The following 3 weeks will now be used to gain more knowledge and a better understanding of the car and to sort out the issues that have arisen and then come back to compete in Germany with a better understanding and with all of the issues worked out.