We used the two-week break between the races in the Czech Republic and Hungary for minor repairs and improvements to the electric vehicle for the upcoming races. In addition, we tested intensively with the aim of better understanding the whole car and giving the pilots more space to get used to it. However, the unmanned single-seater suffered a problem with the unit in the accumulator, so we had a lot of work to do with the repair, which lasted until the last days of the races themselves. Hope always dies last.
The first races after the break awaited us at the Hungarian Hungaroring. It is a race track near Budapest and regularly hosts Formula 1. We were lucky that the F1 Grand Prix was held here the week before, so we could still see signs of the event in many places.
We went to the races early in the morning. The road led along the D1, through Slovakia to Hungary. We arrived at the campsite in the afternoon. We pitched the tents and social facilities on the meadow, unloaded and prepared the pit at the racetrack. The rest of the day was by no means in the spirit of resting and catching up on the journey. That afternoon, we prepared everything in field conditions for the acceptance of the battery, which took place in the camp. Although our turn was not supposed to come until the next day, with our tireless efforts we fought our way to a free slot and managed to pass the entire reception in record time. Great start!
The very first Monday morning was spent in the spirit of static disciplines. Already at 9 o'clock in the morning we had to be ready in our shirts for the defense of the Cost Report. The discipline was all the more difficult because we presented both FSE.11 and DV.01 at the same time. Immediately after, it was the turn of the Engineering Design Event behind the self-driving formula. During the day, we also presented our Business Plans for both categories, DV and EV. In the afternoon, we could watch and hear how the older formulas race around the Hungaroring as part of the Alumni Cup (teams of former team members with cars of previous generations). There were 14 of them and it can be seen that the love for Formula Student really lasts even after graduation.
Tuesday was devoted to finalizing the acceptances. We have completed mechanical and high voltage electrical acceptances. There was no time to celebrate the success of the completion of the acceptances, because the Engineering Design Event immediately followed the electric formula. After finishing the presentation of the formula, we could look forward to the finals in the Business Plan for the electric formula, where we won a beautiful 2nd place overall in very strong competition. Less than an hour before the pits closed, however, something unexpected happened. One team's battery caught fire, but thanks to the prompt response of all nearby teams and the organization of the organizers, no one was seriously injured and the damage was minimal. For us, this experience means only one thing - security measures really have a great meaning and we don't like to underestimate anything.
On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to walk the entire Hungaroring. Many actively used the morning tour of the circuit to jog and stretch their legs. This was followed by preparations of the car for the Tilt Test and Rain Test. After that, we could go to the lower part of the circuit for the Brake Test. After passing the tests, it was time for the Acceleration in the finish line of the Hungaroring, from which we went directly to the Autocross. During the remaining driving time, we still made it to Skidpad. It was one of the most challenging days ever. And not only with a very busy program, but also with elevation changes that had to be completed between individual stations and to push the formula safely the whole time.
Thursday was a little relaxing day. We were able to observe the Endurance combustion student formulas and prepare the car for the top of the electric team competition on Friday. We also got a bonus acceleration attempt, which we took full advantage of and improved our time. Unfortunately, this day also marked the end of hopes for the autonomous formula and its participation in dynamic disciplines. The battery problem could not be solved due to the extremely short time and combat conditions.
The D-Day of racing for electric formulas has arrived. The Endurance race was run in the morning with the announcement of the overall results in the evening. Chance didn't want it and as the first thing of the day we were greeted by a formula that couldn't be turned on, despite many successful turns on the night before. We managed the bug until the last minute before queuing for Endurance. The car drove for several hundred meters before shutting down the traction system for no apparent reason. After discovering the problem, we came to the conclusion that it would be easier and faster to solve it at the workshop in Prague. In order to have more time for repairs and preparation for the upcoming races in Germany, we decided to pack up the pits and camp immediately. After that we traveled back to Prague and arrived back late at night. A technical problem deprived us of a real chance of placing on the podium, but we will put more effort into the next races in Germany and Croatia.
Placement in individual disciplines for the EV category (piloted):
- Business Plan - 2st place
- Cost Report - 27th place
- Engineering Design Event - 10th place
- Acceleration - 4st place
- Skidpad - 13st place
- AutoCross - 11rd place
- Endurance - DNF
- Overall - 9st place
Placement in individual disciplines for the Driverless category:
- Business Plan - 16st place
- Cost Report - 21th place
- Engineering Design Event - 21th place
- Dynamic disciplines - DNS
- Overall - 19st place