2018 has been another busy year for Queen’s Formula Racing. Consistency across all competition events was key to the team’s top 10 finish in Formula Student UK and the first three months of the new university calendar has been spent trying to seek out areas of improvement for next year.
A new university year brings a new Team Leader for QFR with Ryan Wilson taking over the responsibility for continuing the team’s development.
Here is Ryan’s assessment on the first half of QFR’s push for Formula Student success in 2019:
We started the year by planning out the improvements we want to make to the QFR18 car in order to develop our 2019 car. Going for a philosophy of evolution rather than revolution we targeted to complete a significant amount of winter testing to enable us to make informed design decisions for the coming year. Two of these tests have been completed with more lined up in January.
With the continuous desire to develop the team, a new structure was created at the beginning of the year to improve the communication and efficiency of the team. The size of the team has also been increased with the team currently consisting of 45 members. The team has recruited 12 Stage 1 and 2 members to expand the team across all year groups, improving long-term stability and knowledge.
The team had the fantastic opportunity to attend a test session at Horiba Mira’s wind tunnel which has provided the team with an insight into the aerodynamic developments which can be made to the QFR19 car. Initially, QFR can reduce the car’s drag before beginning to generate downforce which will further improve lap times.
Over the two test sessions completed with the QFR18 car, the team has collected data on tyre temperatures and pressures, suspension settings and forces, and engine efficiency. The data collected will be used to aid assessed student projects undertaken by Stage 3 and 4 students. With an improved test process and data recording procedure, the team is now developing a database for use in future years.
In 2019 the team plans to complete further track testing with the QFR18 car while in parallel developing the QFR19 car for the FSUK19 competition. The team is planning to build on its performance at the FSUK18 competition by improving the predictability of QFR19’s handling and reducing the mass of components to improve performance in the dynamic events. The team is also targeting an improvement in each of the static events by using the feedback given from the FSUK18 competition and improving the preparation process in the lead up to the competition.
As the team finishes for the Christmas break, we would like to thank the university supervisors and technicians involved in the student projects over the past year. We would also like to thank QFR partners: Vickerstock, Hutchinson Engineering and Nutts Corner Circuit for their support over the past year and we look forward to working with them again in 2019.
On behalf of the team I would like to wish Queen’s University staff and students, our partners and suppliers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.