UBRacing at Formula Student 2014
By Pippi Hornsby, UBRacing Head of Media and Mechanical Engineering graduate 2014
This season marked the 17th year of UBRacing and saw the team attend the 16th Formula Student UK competition – that’s right, we were doing Formula Student a whole year before it launched in the UK! The UK competition has been held at Silverstone race course for many years and traditionally takes part the weekend after the British F1 Grand Prix; this year, those of us lucky to pitch up early even got a glance of the post-race F1 testing.
The Formula Student competition comprises of a combination of static and dynamic events; static events include the design event, business presentation and cost event, and dynamic events include skid pad, acceleration, sprint and endurance. Year-on-year the competition has become larger, with over 120 teams from all over the globe competing, but the competitors have also become stronger
Despite being the oldest UK Formula Student team, UBRacing has had a varied results history at the UK Formula Student competition, being out-run by our European counterparts after having large budget cuts and struggling to find sponsors. However this year we had one of the most successful seasons in our long history!
Out of the 97 teams that took part in the Class 1 events, we finished with an overall placing of 19th and out of the UK teams, we finished 6th! This is the best overall result we have achieved since 2008, made more impressive by the increased size of the competition. We also achieved 5th place in the Business event which is our highest placing ever! We placed in the solid mid-range in the Design and Cost events at 28th and 60th respectively and our dynamics results were all within the top 30% of teams, with 22nd for Skidpad, 32nd for Acceleration and 29th for Sprint.
The most important event at Formula Student is the Endurance test, where the car has to complete a 22km run, including a driver change. The fuel efficiency of the car is also recorded and points are awarded for the fastest complete run, within 145% of the fastest car that day. The Endurance and Fuel Efficiency events are worth a combined 40% of the entire competition, and many teams suffer technical problems and do not finish the race. Last season we broke our 4 year spell of not finishing endurance; however we were classified outside the 145% and so our points were capped at 22 out of a possible 300. This season, our car ran problem-free and perfectly! However, we were one of four midrange cars to complete the event in monsoon rain, and so this slowed our lap times by about 10 seconds per lap – a considerable amount, especially when lap times are not adjusted due to wet weather. As the fastest cars traditionally drive later in the day, this meant that their dry times pushed our wet times much further down. Despite this, we still finished within the 145% time allowance and placed 22nd in Endurance and 20th in Fuel Economy!
We are exceptionally proud of what we have achieved this season and we would not have been able to produce such high results without the support of our sponsors and alumni. Though we are a student team, we will continue to work during the summer, resuming testing to obtain data to help with the design of next season’s car in September.
More photographs are availbale on Flickr or visit the UBRacing website for further information.