IITB Racing’s performance at Formula Student ’15
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IIT Bombay Racing recently participated in Formula Student 2015, the largest student design competition held annually by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) at the Silverstone Racing Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix. The competition is a platform for students to design, manufacture and test a full-fledged Formula racing car.
With its aluminum monocoque body, new and efficient brushless motors and HV battery built from high energy density lithium polymer cells, the car was able to push itself from 0 to 100 kmph in under 4.5 seconds.
The University of Hertfordshire hosted the team’s stay and arranged a testing track for the pre-event period. While unloading the car in the UK, it was found that due to seepage of water, one of the most important components of the car, the motor controller, got badly damaged. But without losing hope, the team set to make right the problem, and in just under 5 days, fixed the controller and got the car ready to go. This was one of the highs for the entire team.
But without losing hope, the team set to make right the problem, and in just under 5 days, fixed the controller and got the car ready to go.
The loss of five days, however, presented ominous signs for the team’s brake test. While shipping, the brakes must be drained of all its brake fluid which needs to be refilled in the UK and tested 4-5 times during runs. The unexpected controller problem only allowed one brake test before the event. This cast a dark cloud over the team’s chances of clearing the brake test at the event.
On day 1, the car was lined up for Technical Inspection starting with Electrical Scrutineering. It cleared the scrutiny in one go which even many good teams couldn’t pull off. Following this, Safety, Chassis, Tech Scrutiny and the Rain Test were successfully completed one after the other. On day 3, the Tilt Test and the Noise Test were completed. But after this, the car unfortunately failed the Brake Test due to the loss of time caused by the controller problem and lack of practice before the event. Thus, the team was unable to participate in any other dynamic events at the competition.
The car unfortunately failed the Brake Test due to the loss of time caused by the controller problem and lack of practice before the event. Thus, the team was unable to participate in any other dynamic events at the competition.
The team performed well in static events – Design, Cost and Business Presentation. The judges appreciated the car and were impressed with the quantum of improvements made by the team over the last season. The team scored full marks in the Technical Innovation segment of the Design Event, which is highly commendable. The highlight was the Design Event, where a total of 95 out of 150 points were scored, with a ranking of 34 out of 97 teams, and the Business Presentation, where the team grabbed 52 out of 75 points, finishing at the 36th position. The judges commented that the design documentation was one of the best they had seen at the event. All through through the static events, the team was able to score a rank better than some notable universities like University of Warwick, University College London, Imperial College London, etc.
This path undertaken does not end here, for the journey has just begun. The team has returned home and has already started planning for the seasons ahead. The legacy created by the few enthused must be passed on for the many to come.
You can read our detailed article about Evo 4.0, the IITB Racing team’s car here.