Formula Student Germany is upon us! With the competition officially starting July 28th, the car was shipped early Wednesday July 15th in order to arrive on Monday July 20th, giving us a good week of testing. Here is a run down of how the week went.
The crate arrived on Monday and was unpacked that day. On Tuesday, we took the car onto track to do some testing with our newest driver, Felix, driving, but we stopped early because a semi large pebble rock got stuck between the chassis and the road. It did some damage to the chassis, although not structurally concerning. We also packed the cube van for the next day, with the plan to go to a test track 2 hours out of Karlsruhe.
On Wednesday morning, we woke up at 4:30 am, were on the road at 5:30 am. We got to the test track, where a total of 5 cars, including us, were testing: Karlsruhe electric & combustion and Munich electric & combustion. We did 25 km of autocross testing until more or less 4 pm, when we saw that the differential was cocked slightly sideways, damaging the RH flange. The rest seemed alright. We inspected the rest of the car and began the hunt to find a shop to machine a new flange.
Thursday was a dedicated work day. We dedicated our efforts to repairing the chassis and the right diff flange, in addition to addressing some other small maintenance items. The day ended with a full technical inspection of all systems on the car.
Friday morning was spent working in KIT’s shop. In the early afternoon, we had almost finished repairing the damaged diff flange when we received the newly machined diff flange. So we installed the new one and re-assembled the rest of the car. Quick set-up and then we packed up to go testing at the only available track: a long straight line. Felix hopped in and tested the auto up-shift, which works well. We only had 20 minutes before we got kicked out. We also did some 60 and 70 kph constant runs for aero testing. All the drivetrain held up, so the car is in good shape. Hit 106 kph! So now when people ask what speed we reach we can still say over 100 kph.
On the Saturday, we went to go test MRT16 at KIT’s north campus. We got there at around 8-9 am, unpacked and got Felix in the car. We did some acceleration testing, tweaking the rev limiter off the line, the auto up-shift and the tire pressure. We got down to consistent 4.0′s. (!) Our best run was a 3.96 s. Towards the end of the day, we did some aero testing with some straight line testing & coasting with the low drag setting, normal setting and wings off.
Sunday was spent in Saarbucken; we arrived at around 2 pm, tested until 4 when we discovered a minor mechanical failure. Fortunately the failure didn’t impact other aspects of the car, and so we returned to the shop with an easy fix in mind.
On Monday, other team members began arriving at around noon. The car continued to receive attention throughout the day while we packed our belongings and prepared for the vehicle’s journey to Hockenheim. A few members went to the site early to set up camp, where they spent the night.
Tuesday morning was spent much like the day before. Eventually, all members journeyed to the Hockenheimring, and the car made it to its paddock with a little help from our old friends from RWTH Aachen. The competition kicked off that evening, and so began FSG in full force!