On Tuesday the 30th July, UH Racing groggily climbed into their respective cars for the long journey through Europe to the fabled Hockenheimring in Baden-Württemberg in the south of Germany. The team left for Dover to catch an early morning ferry. The team eventually arrived at the Ring around late afternoon, early evening. The first order of business after arriving was to sort out the team’s pit garage.
The team worked hard to get this set up despite their weariness from the long day of travelling.
Wednesday was a case of getting into scrutineering and through it quickly. As we were ninth 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 as it was with the UK event. 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 third car to complete the entire process and had been able to do so in a single day. This is was a massive boost to team morale as the German scrutineers are far more rigorous and ruthless. 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.
Thursday 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.
Pat Clarke one of the Chief Design judges also commented on how our car was the Best car any UK team had ever created. 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. With the judges even commenting on how the team’s cost presentation was the best they had seen that day. The final static event for the day was the business event. In which Keval Morarjee and Bavly Obaid acquitted themselves very well.
The team came 14th in the Cost Event, 17th in the Design Event and unfortunately 35th in the Business event. Unfortunately in the Design event the team had incurred a 10 point penalty which would have seen us as high as 8th without it.
Friday afternoon saw the start of the Dynamic Events. It began with the Skid Pad event. With Will Farrar and Ramon Pineiro competing for the team. At Formula Student Germany the Skid pan is a wet track that is constantly sprinkled. With Ramon Pineiro taking to the track first. Ramon set a time of 6.085s. From which Will Farrar then took over the controls and set an even better time of 5.988. This placed us 13th for Skid pad and allowed us to get ready for the following day’s events of Acceleration and Sprint.
Acceleration came first and was held along the Start Finish straight of the Hockenheimring. With Will Farrar taking the opening two of four heats. He set a fantastic time of 4.340s in the combustion class. Richard Mitchell was next to climb into the driver’s seat and take a shot at gaining the top spot in acceleration. A very valiant effort indeed was put forward by Rich, who managed to set an incredible time of 4.080s, giving the team 3rd in Acceleration.
The afternoon involved preparing for and taking part in the sprint event, with Matt Grant and Tony Carrozza taking charge of UH16 for this event. Both drivers did incredibly well and placed the car 11th, with Matt Grant unfortunately clipping a cone on each run this gave him a best time of 84.039s and Tony Carrozza managed even better setting a blistering time of 81.673s for the sprint event. Both drivers set a first safe lap which would be used to keep the team in contention in case the more aggressive lap incurred too many penalties.
Once again the final event in the Competition was the Endurance.
22km time trial in essence. At the halfway point the driver will swap for his team mate. As Matt Grant and Tony Carrozza had already driven the track in the sprint event it was felt to be the best option to use them again as the drivers for endurance. Matt Grant took the first 11km and drove exceptionally well, Tony Carrozza took over the helm and continued with some incredible lap times, and unfortunately the car had suffered some damage under Matt Grant which worsened as Tony was driving. The car was pulled in for an inspection. The car was deemed safe to continue and was therefore allowed out of the pits to continue.
Despite this minor setback of having to sit in the pits and loose time Tony and Matt drove spectacularly to gain 10th place in endurance.
After the completion of endurance the car was then post-race scrutineered and had its fuel efficiency checked and calculated. The team managed a very respectable 23rd. This result combined with all of the other results throughout the competition allowed the team to become 10th overall in the competition. This gives us the Mantel of again being the Best UK Team at Formula Student Germany.