Queen’s Formula Racing unveiled its latest Formula Student car in front of Queen’s University’s Lanyon Building on Monday afternoon. QFR18 will compete in Formula Student UK at Silverstone Circuit on 13-15 July.
QFR has a long history with the competition, first entering in 2000. The team finished seventh overall last year after topping the acceleration event and winning most efficient combustion engine. This year’s effort has focused on the redesign of components which will improve the car’s handling as well as reducing the car’s overall mass closer to 200 kg.
From the off, the team has sought to complete QFR18 well in advance of July’s competition. A tight design and build schedule was created and managed by Team Leader, Gavin White, who had experienced the hectic week before last year’s competition. QFR17’s suspension failed in a pre-event brake test resulting in new wishbones being machined and installed just days before the event. With only hours to spare the car was transported to the competition via a re-scheduled ferry crossing.
Gavin’s plan has paid off so far, QFR18 has already completed one day of testing at Nutts Corner Circuit and will have time for four or five further tests before the 2018 competition. With the drivers also announced, the remaining test days will be key to get them up to speed with this year’s car.
QFR18 design features
Satisfied with engine performance, QFR invested its resources in chassis and handling improvements. QFR18 features a compact rear chassis design accommodated by suspension wishbones which sweep back to the rear wheels. This reduction in chassis members has not only helped reduce its mass by 6% but also increases the concentration of mass towards the centre of the car.
QFR18 has all-new suspension geometry which was calculated and designed by the six-member suspension team. In a bid to improve performances in skid-pad and endurance events it is hoped that the changes made to the suspension along with steering and anti-roll updates will provide a car much easier to control and handle.
Cosmetically, QFR18 looks very different from its predecessor. A new nose cone and two new sidepods can be seen on the outside of the car. These updates are aimed at improving the efficiency of the airflow over the front of the car and over the rear wheels.
Inside, a new pedal box has been designed to reduce mass and a new carbon fibre seat has been designed to improve the driver’s comfort especially in the long-distance endurance event.
26 students will travel to Formula Student UK as part of the competition team. Each will have assigned roles throughout the weekend with responsibility for technical, operational and event specific tasks. Roles include pit mechanics, press relations, team support and static event presenters.
Drivers have been selected from the competition team and will be tasked with driving QFR18 in dynamic events such as endurance, acceleration and skid-pad. Selected following a series of karting sessions, the team is confident that they are capable of doing a great job.
QFR has been gifted with the arrival of a few new partners this year. These partners along with longstanding title sponsor Queen’s University Belfast are essential to ensure the team can travel to Silverstone with a competitive car.
With most of the manufacturing done in-house at QUB’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the lecturers and technicians help do not go unnoticed.
Vickerstock came onboard in Spring 2018 and has shown a great interest in the team and the Formula Student project. Vickerstock’s support has covered the expense of travelling over to England for the competition.
Partnering QFR for another year is Hutchinson Engineering who provided a great service, laser cutting the 83 chassis tubes. Working in conjunction with the chassis team throughout the year, the partnership was crucial in reaching the key milestone of having the spaceframe chassis manufactured on time.
The complete list of QFR partners can be found on the partner page of the QFR website, queens-racing.com. The team would wish to thank all its partners for their help with a wide range of services and hope to bring them success with QFR18 in July.