Sorry it's been somewhat hectic between races, but we got the car finished at 2am Sunday Morning then left at 6am to get to Dunsfold Park (top gear test track) for Rnd 2 of our Championship.
I won't go in to too much detail just yet, because I still have lots to get sorted but I shall keep you posted as to how it went.
Body weighs 26kg at the moment if it were CF it's quite plausible we could knock off about 15kg from that at least which is about 25% the overall weight. I'm convinced we can also shake off a further 7kg and gain some more drive efficiency too. I genuinely think that come our next race in September we could knock off 40% of the "dry" weight!
So we are looking for someone to either donate about £600 (it can be multiple contributors) or lots of CF and Epoxy resin. We have some superb moulds but just don't have the funds to carry it off!
flynfrog wrote:any plans to improve the roll bar?
What did you have in mind? It's already aerofoil section and tests fairly well in CFD. it'd be better if it were rolled but we just can't roll it! Too slippery a shape!
maybe roll a round tube then layup an airfoil to streamline it. For carbon check if you have any aerospace places near by. The prepreg has a shelf life on it and they have to throw it away after a certain time. It is still very usable for your application. the same is true for dry fiber and resin too. If you lived in the states I could give you some better pointers of where to look.
"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."
It comes down to a couple of things. The main thing being safety. This aerofoil section is far stronger in ali than a basic steel hoop be, and you really have to take safety pretty seriously, even at 30mph!
The other is that you never end up with a particularly uniform shape without going in to some complex moulding and as I've used this years design as a pretty intensive CFD project, some 100 something runs before I got to the "final" shape, I decided that it was better to go for something that is likely to be pretty darn close to the model. That way we could get a little closer to meeting our predictions.
Ok, I've done it again, i've kept you all out of the loop a bit but with a couple of less than encouraging results over the last month I was starting to think that may be I'm just not meant to be doing this sort of thing.
We went to a huge amount of effort to get to Castle Combe for a regional heat and after some fantastic times in practice we started feeling reasonably confident. A loss of power then cost us an hour in the pits.
At this point I said, pack up, we're going home, it's time to call an end to the whole project (I had to drive the car in a van 4hrs back to essex then a further 3.5hrs back home to Nottingham) However, the tenacity of the team saw us back out for the last half hour of the race. We even finished higher than some cars that had raced the duration, and we claimed our first fastest lap!
We had just one weekend between Castle Combe and the National Final at Goodwood so rather than making any radical changes I elected to refine several areas of the car.
Now before I tell you about our final here are a few refresher facts;
Our record 1.5hr distance is 50.4miles This year we have slightly less power available We are also required to pit once to change batteries so we lose about 1min or so to that, including speed limited pit time.
Right, so we arrived around 8.20am ish, we'd been scrutineered the day before so it was all about making sure we'd got everything ready for practice. We were the fourth car out which left us with a pretty clear run of the circuit.
We came in and checked the datalogger, everything seemed perfect, not just close, but perfect.
I was just swapping the batteries over when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. There was a drawing pin in the side of our tyre (yes side of our 120psi tyre... Not leaving the car over night again) A lightening fast swap sorted that out and we were able to line up on the second row of the grid.
When the flag was dropped, I took a nice easy pull away, after our reliability issues this season, I didn't want to hammer the transmission. This saw us lose out on about 1 position, slowly gaining on the 5 cars ahead of us picking one off at a time.
Just before we entered Lavant we overtook the car that was in the lead... this isn't a feeling I'm used to. I couldn't picture it lasting the whole race so I just tried to relax, and enjoy the moment as I entered the start finish straight knowing that my friends and family would be able to see what we had achieved, that moment alone was as good as a victory.
Lap times fell well below anything we've achieved before and a full minute faster than we had been at this circuit earlier in the year.
Lap after lap we pulled out further, much to my disbelief but the years of hard work really had finally paid off.
The team pulled me in at the half way mark to swap to our second set of batteries, these were quite clearly not as punchy as the first but we were well on our way.
As time marched on our lead grew, to an extraordinary (for us) 2 laps (2.4miles each at goodwood) That was... Until...
.. the end of the race... there will be no "and then disaster struck" moments today, we did it! We've finally achieved one of our dreams. We had won the F24+ National Final, setting not only a personal best, but a new competition record with 55.2miles completed in 1.5hours,
Thank you all for your contributions towards making this happen, whether it was just a show of support or technical advice, it all made a big difference. So thank you.
I should have some pictures soon but for the time being, here is quick clip of us from yesterday.
And for those of you looking for the next big thing in vehicle design..
A BIG congrats! All your work has paid off not only for this race but any races you go after from now on. Stay ahead of the pack now that you've made it there! Just think of the way Red Bull defending their championship this year.
I am really pleased for you. Having been able to watch the design & build process unfold means I have a much better appreciation of what you have done. We know the design targets you set out to meet & how you did it. Now we see the ratification of the CFD analysis and drive system choices you made. Thanks for sharing with us the story behind the result as it took place.
Thanks for the supportive comments, it all really means a lot.
A fellow competitor, that's turned into more supportive friend at each event he's been able to attend has made a little video for us to celebrate our victory.
Which I thought I'd share with you all. You can see just how pleased I was by just how shocked I looked when I got out of the car.
I keep thinking about the next challenge, but it all just seems so scary! I know I'll get there but it's going to take a lot of effort. I've also one more idea for a car which I'm toying with at the moment but I really should see now as a time to move on to bigger and better things.
Fantastic! Its being great seeing your car evolve. A quick look back at the start of this thread shows a completely different car! The evolution in itself is a huge achievement, the payback of winning the national final is a just reward.