Birmingham, England Formula Student recap

The GTMotorsports team has taken the "Overall Winner" prize at the Formula Student competition held this past week in Birmingham, England. The competition, for which the students must design, build, defend and race an open-wheel formula race car,...

The GTMotorsports team has taken the "Overall Winner" prize at the Formula Student competition held this past week in Birmingham, England. The competition, for which the students must design, build, defend and race an open-wheel formula race car, pitted 25 university teams against each other, with 6 of them from the United States, one from Canada, one each from Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and the balance from the United Kingdom. Of all teams present, GTMotorsports accumulated the most points, taking home the penultimate prize.

I was there to witness the accomplishment! The team showed up prepared and executed perfectly, having learned from mistakes made in Detroit at the Formula SAE event.

I'm back from Formula Student. Weather was miserable. Unusually hot for that area (so they said) and the events had to dodge some heavy downpours, but almost everyone ran in dry conditions. The rain did not decide the outcome.

A most interesting event. I only recall the top four cars, so here goes:

4. RIT - Good dynamic times, as always. They hit some cones in the Endurance run which bent their front pushrod (those UK "killer cones"). Ran the last few laps of the course at reduced speed with the chassis dragging on the ground. Got an unusual (for them) low design score.

3. Leeds - After setting the fastest lap time in endurance, and being consistent in the dynamic events, they were let down a bit by static scores.

2. ETS - These guys could slide the car all over the circuit. It was almost like a sprint car on a dirt track. The crowds loved it. Won the endurance and the dynamic events, but just missed the top prize which went to...

1. Georgia Tech - They were much better prepared for this event than they were for Detroit [Editor's note: Formula SAE event in May]. Almost the top in performance, with strong static scores. They also won the Design event.

Overall was close. GT won by 12 points, with another 3 points between 2nd and 3rd. I'm thrilled for them.

Interesting cars, as always. Coventry had a narrow rear track car that flipped over in the Endurance run. The roll over protection does work!

There were 25 Class 1 entries, 23 cars ran, 6 USA teams (GT, RIT, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, Rennselaer), 1 Canadian team, 1 German team, 1 French team, the rest from UK. More of the previous Class 2 and 3 teams came with cars this year and competed in Class 1. University of Birmingham entered their new car and last years car. They had a school exams conflict which prevented them from making Detroit.

- Steve Sayovitz

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