The Competition

Formula Student (FS) is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition. Backed by industry and high-profile engineers such Patron, Ross Brawn OBE, the competition aims to develop enterprising and innovative young engineers and encourage more young people to take up a career in engineering.

Formula Student challenges the team members to go the extra step in their education by incorporating into it intensive experience in building and manufacturing as well as considering the economic aspects of the automotive industry. Teams take on the assumption that they are a manufacturer developing a prototype to be evaluated for production.

The target audience is the non-professional Weekend-Racer, for which the race car must show very good driving characteristics such as acceleration, braking and handling. It should be offered at a very reasonable cost and be reliable and dependable. Additionally, the cars market value increases through other factors such as aesthetics, comfort and the use of readily available, standard purchase components.

Check us out at the 2018 FSUK competition to see how this amazing weekend unfolds;

At the competition all teams compete in several challanges, both static and dynamic events. Points from each event is awarded to the team from the judges, based on several factors. The points are then summed up to award the team a final score.

The Static events
Business presentation
Cost report
Design event
The Dynamic events
Acceleration
Skid pad
Autocross
Endurance
Energy efficiency
The Static Events - in detail

The business sides of motorsport are motorsport are often underestimated by engineers and spectators alike. However, to build a competitive car one must have funding, and to receive funding one must have a realistic business idea; and the static events test exactly that.

To understand what the goal of the business plan presentation is, let us cite from the rulebook;

“The objective of the [Business Plan Presentation] is to evaluate the team’s ability to develop and deliver a comprehensive business model which demonstrates their product – a prototype race car – could become a rewarding business opportunity.” - S 1.1.1

That being said, during the 10 minute presentation our team must present a fictional - though realistic - business, whos goal is to design and build single seater racing cars. Points are then allocated depending on the teams ability to answer the judges questions after the presentation.

As for the cost report and design event, these both include the judging of two documents submitted prior to competition. The first one, the cost report, include the cost of all material and components in the car, as well as how it was manufactured. The latter, named The Engineering Design Report, describes the design choices made during the engineering phase of the car. This report is then also discussed between the judges and the team in the pits, next to the car - where the team have to explain specific design elements of the vehicle.

The Dynamic Events - in detail
Acceleration

During the acceleration event, the goal of the car is to complete 75 meters from a complete standstill in as short of time as possible. The lightness of the cars and electric engines makes this event a blast - however, one mustn't be too slow. Above a certain time limit, only minimal points are awarded. The time limit is set by the fastest team; their shortest time is multiplied by 1.5 - making the event competitive across the board.

Skidpad

The skidpad event test the car’s ability to generate lateral acceleration - namely how fast it can corner. A course is laid out with two concentric circles the shape of a figure 8, and is 3 meters wide, with a corner radii of 12.5 meters. The car must complete 2 laps in both circles, and their laptimes are recorded.

Autocross

The car will drive a circuit of around 1500 meters, consisting of turns, straights, chicanes and hairpins. This event tests the cars and the drivers ability to accelerate and break, as well as how the car handles in turns.

Endurance

Perhaps the most difficult event of them all - here, the cars reliability is put to the test. The course layout is similar to autocross, however it is now 22 kilometers long, truly putting all systems to the test. Handling, acceleration and braking, efficiency - everything is heavily tried and tested through the long and twisty track. All teams only get one run, and a driver change is required halfway through. This event awards the most points of them all - it’s very important to get it right.

Energy efficiency

This event parktakes simultaneously as the endurance event - the teams are judged based on how efficiently they can complete the 22 kilometer long run. Efficiency is therefore put in relation to speed, and has been a strength for KTH Formula Student for many years.