A day in Barcelona.

Pre-season testing with Renault sport F1.

On Wednesday 2nd March, a group of section leaders from OBR left Oxford and embarked on a 2 day round trip to Barcelona. We’d been lucky enough to be invited out to stay with Renault Sport F1 for the second round of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. With less than a 24 hour stay in Spain, we knew we’d have to make the most of the time we had there. Continue reading “A day in Barcelona.”

Semester 1 Roundup

The 2016 season is now underway with over one hundred fresh new faces within the team, all of them eager to take on a challenge and determined to succeed.

In just three months, new students have chosen their departments, the 2016 car has been designed and now the manufacturing can begin.

What have we been up to?

The team have made several appearances this term, having gone to events such as the AE show, Swindon Technical College Open Days, Brookes Live, and next week they will be attending the renowned Autosport International Show at the NEC. The team have also managed to carry out a number of successful tests.

open day

Aerodynamics

Since the start of the season, over 80 new students have been organised into the aerodynamics team, coming from all years and engineering courses. In order to meet our aero targets for this year, the team have decided to develop some new bodywork and aero components. The team has now been split into sections; front wing, rear wing, side wing, cooling and future development. CFD has been taught with the help of alumni, and is moving the design phase forward. The aero team is set to hit its targets even though almost the entire team has to learn CFD on the job. Over the next few weeks, the aero team aims to get their designs finalised before starting tool designs and beginning manufacturing.

Chassis

The chassis team have been busy selecting the chassis construction for this year’s design. They have also been evaluating the drivers seating position with the new chassis geometry changes for this year’s car. Since the start of the season, the chassis team have have started to design the chassis using CAD software.

Suspension

This season so far, the suspension team have impressively redesigned the entire suspension system from the ground up. Their focus has been on reducing mass and improving vehicle response while increasing system reliability. The suspension team have been busy creating comprehensive vehicle modelling tools ready for the 2016 car and are set to meet the design and manufacturing target dates.

Powertrain

Currently powertrain is fixing and rebuilding the engine previously used for engine dyno, in order to have a spare for this year. The Powertrain team took a visit to the Rolling Road to map different plenums in order to gather as much information as possible on plenum. The team have also done a lot of modelling with engine simulation software, in order to apply changes to the powertrain system without having to manufacture parts and implement them before they are at the optimum performance level.

Race Car engineering

Within the race car engineering team, emphasis has been placed on the development of a number of different areas. A large amount of time has been dedicated to developing a lap time simulator while work on car-to pit voice communications has also been a priority for the team, in preparation for the 2016 competition. As one of the smaller departments, there has also been an emphasis on supporting the next generation on OBR data and race engineers.

Test Team

The test team have had a productive start to the season, looking at both the 2015 car and the 2016 car. They have carried out Mass Analysis on the 2015 car, Izzy, to calculate where weight savings can be made for this year’s car and make the required repairs. Noise tests have been carried out with the Powertrain group to establish the teams exhaust silencer options for the 2016 car, given the stringent Formula Student rules. The test team have also been working hard in the workshop, putting the car back together and making various changes and improvements. All the while they are re-organising and tidying up the Formula Student bay and work space in order to provide an efficient working environment. The Test Team have also been prepping the car for a number of tests that have taken place so far this season, ensuring that they have been successful ones.

IMG_0368

The Team is now back from the Christmas break and working hard on the 2016 car. We’ll update you soon with our January team progress and news!

 

2015 Season Roundup

This summer the team competed successfully in three competitions, one at home at Silverstone, and two in Europe, Formula Student Germany and Formula Student Hungary. Our 2015 car, Izzy, performed well and OBR are proud to announce she is the fastest car we have ever made.

See below for a summary of our results in 2015! In bold are the results we are particularly proud of.

                STATICS

Competition

FSUK

FSG

FSH

Design 2 15 5
Cost 18 28 4
Business 63 46 18

                DYNAMICS

Competition

FSUK

FSG

FSH

Acceleration Place 12 31 13
Time 4.35 4.65 4.17
Skidpad Place 15 12 13
Time 5.24 5.97 (wet) 5.21
Sprint Place 14 7 13
Time 56.03 72.15 38.11
Endurance Place 7 DNF DNS
Time 1577.52 DNF DNS

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FSUK

In Silverstone in July, the weekend was a challenge for the team. Being our home competition, our garage was always alive with activity, with visits from sponsors and supports alike. Having won Design the year before in 2014, expectations were high and we attacked the weekend head-on, developing our control systems to produce a solid Acceleration event to start, beating our fellow UK teams.

Skidpad provided us with a top 15 result, and results coming in from the Static events were promising also. An 18th in Cost (with a dramatic late boost from provisional to final results) gave the team a well-deserved morale boost and the news that the team had made Design Finals for the second year running was greeted with cheers.

FSUK has always treated the team well and 2015 was no exception. The excitement of the weekend fully took hold during our Sprint laps, with the whole team cheering our drivers on, accompanied by many family members and supporters.

Nerves set in early on Sunday morning while the team prepared the car for the Endurance event. This is the biggest event of the weekend in Formula Student competitions and being our home competition (only an hour drive from our campus) it was vital we finished the 22km. Drama unfolded as the typical British weather threatened, the dark clouds hovering overhead as Izzy took to the track towards the end of the afternoon.

With the team all huddled nervously up on the bank, cheering each time the drivers passed for another lap, we all crossed our fingers and willed Izzy on. The chequered flag waved! We had completed the Endurance event for the second year in a row.

The drama was not over yet, and Team Bath, one of our main rivals, finished their own Endurance run just seconds before the heavens opened; the pitlane became a river and everyone rushed to get their cars back to their garages. Through all the excitement and challenge of the weekend, OBR came sixth overall, equalling 2014, and we came away knowing we had a fast car that was reliable and ready to be developed. We headed to Europe!

FSG

Camping for the first time in a few years, the team excitedly soaked up the atmosphere as we set up in Hockenheim, having brought the rain with us from the UK. We knew FSG would be challenging, providing tough competition from teams all across the world.

Scrutineering was one of the toughest few days for the team, with the officials being more precise than ever. Our aerodynamics team united to get the front and rear wings passed, the whole team helping out to get through Technical Inspection.

Scrutineering is tough

With Statics finished by Thursday, the Dynamics could begin. Determined to make the most of our days in Germany and to ensure the car was as ready as possible, we were one of the last cars on the wet Skidpad track on Friday evening. A great place of 12th proved what we knew: our car was fast.

Watching from the grandstands on Saturday, the team waited anxiously as Izzy joined the long queue for the Sprint event, in the late afternoon when the track was hottest. The tension built as the cars slowly moved forwards the clock ticked down to when the event closed… With less than two minutes to go, OBR reached the front of the queue, our engineers nervously waiting for the event officials to wave the green flag. Finally we were allowed on track just as the event closed- hopes and tensions were high as our drivers flew around the course to give us an impressive 7th place.

Unfortunately a failure towards the end of the Endurance event put a stopper to our dreams of making the podium at FSG. Still, the team had some much deserved time out at the Mahle Party at the end of the weekend and, all shirts swapped, headed back to the UK to prepare the car for Hungary.

FSH

With one last push for results in the summer of 2015, the team headed out to Hungary in mid-August. This was a new destination for the team and we were excited to meet new teams and explore new places. We knew the car could be quick.

Even before arriving at the track we knew the engine had been causing us a few issues. We decided to remove the car from the pit overnight. Taking the car to a well-lit car park in central Gyor, the powertrain team worked tirelessly through the night to find the source of our issues. It turned out to be the sprag clutch, something we didn’t have with us, returning to the track the team starting to ask around other teams to see if the part could be found. We would like to thank Tu Fast, Szengine and Tu Brno for their amazing help in finding the part. Part found and engine fixed the team prepared for the next few days.

Statics went well, with a great 4th place in Cost, proving our car is marketed as one of the truest ‘weekend racer’s on the grid. Acceleration and Skidpad again provided us with top 13 times, as the top spot continued to prove elusive. The team worked hard to improve the car for the last effort of the season.

However a dramatic suspension failure during our Sprint lap marked an unfortunate end to a great season. The team tried to think of any way to fix Izzy but that was the end of OBR’s competition. The team admitted a gracious defeat and instead enjoyed watching the cars during Endurance on the Sunday before heading back to the UK.

All in all, OBR’s 2015 season has been a great success, coming home with a few trophies and forging new friendships. However 2015 has not been without its challenges and the team strive to learn from mistakes as well as bad luck. 2016 beckons!

Thanks

We would like to give thanks to all our sponsors (see our Partners) for supporting us throughout the year, both through our successes and challenges. Thank you to Oxford Brookes and our MEMS department for seeing us through and giving us fantastic opportunities, including our glamorous Launch Party.

Formula Student wouldn’t be the great competition it is today without the brilliant cooperation and friendships between teams. As we try to offer our help to other teams in need, we are grateful for the support when we struggle. We would like to thank Team Bath Racing, Tu Fast, Szengine and Tu Brno for your assistance over all three competitions. Looking forward to seeing you again on track next year!