For the second year running Queen’s Formula Racing finished Formula Student UK in the top ten. Ninth overall and fourth best UK-based team was a great achievement for the Queen’s University Belfast team, once again showing its ability to punch above its weight.
Competing against top teams from USA, Australia and Germany, QFR’s consistent scoring throughout all the events at Silverstone enabled a top ten finish against 80 other universities.
A strong result in the competition’s feature event, the 21 km Endurance event, solidified QFR’s ninth position on Sunday afternoon. With other teams dropping out with mechanical failures and driver errors, QFR18 showed its speed and reliability to finish the event in 32 minutes.
QFR’s Formula Student weekend began early on Thursday with a series of scrutineering checks to pass. It took until Friday afternoon to get through scrutineering as parts of QFR18 had to be re-worked to pass Formula Student’s rigorous rules. The QFR mechanics were kept busy in the garage as they manufactured an aluminium sump guard to protect the Yamaha R6’s oil system.
Running in parallel on Thursday and Friday were the three static events. An area marked for improvement by QFR in 2018, the points gained from the design, business and cost presentations proved to be a great base to build upon in the dynamic events.
Formula Student’s dynamic events started in earnest on Saturday morning. Skid Pad and Acceleration events had to be completed between 9 am and 12 noon. With 80 cars competing in these events it was a challenge to complete the permitted two runs on each event. So, to get to lunch time having done so was a huge relief to the team. 14th in the Skid Pad and 10th in the Acceleration event was another consistent performance by QFR18 and its drivers.
Saturday’s feature event, the Sprint race, followed on a tight and twisting track laid out around Silverstone’s Copse complex. Despite a lack of seat time in testing, QFR’s drivers still managed to put in a top 25 time.
The Copse complex once again played host to Formula Student’s main event on Sunday, the Endurance event. Seeded 23rd for the event, Endurance driver’s Jack Easson and Adam Hall, pulled out all the stops to achieve QFR’s best result of ninth. It was a fitting way to end the weekend, showing the strength of QFR18 and just reward for its persistent mechanics and drivers.
The final results put QFR in ninth position overall, fourth in the UK and winners of the Celtic Cup, for Welsh, Scottish and Irish entrants. The result was made even sweeter knowing that QFR18 was the second fastest non-aero car in the competition, a sign of the over achievement considering the team’s lower budget.
During the Formula Student awards ceremony in the Brooklands BRDC pavilion, QFR received the Engagement, Outreach and Communications Award from RaceCar Engineering. Communications is just one of the areas QFR has invested much more time in over the past 10 months as it wishes to broaden its impact on universities very own version of Formula 1.