Following Silverstone, the largest FS event, where Bath was the highest ranked UK team and placed fourth overall with a score of 707.8 points, the team headed for Europe.
First, they had a long drive to Gyor in Hungary to compete in the FS East event. Despite being able to run only one radiator due to a last-minute fault, the car performed well on the track. The team was awarded second place in design, second place in the static events (missing first place by 0.1 of a point!) and first place in business. Overall, Team Bath Racing was placed fifth out of 29 combustion and electric teams, with a score of 744.5 points out of 1000, about 115 points behind the winners.
Then it was on to Czech Republic. However, sorting out the bespoke radiator, with only a couple of days between events, put the team under great pressure. With a Hungarian and a Polish speaker in the team, the problem was swiftly sorted – not only was the radiator fixed, but a new one was also built as a replacement!
At FS Czech, scrutineering went well and Bath reached the final in all three static events, although the organisers chose not to reveal the placings ahead of the final awards ceremony. On track, the repaired car was back up to full pace and put in solid performances. However, shortly before the final endurance race a hole in one of the coolant pipes appeared. This was quickly repaired, and the car went on to complete the endurance in the second-fastest time.
Of the 35 cars at FS Czech, 25 were combustion and 10 were electric. The organisers had separated the cars into two classes, but ran them together on the track and also gave awards for overall position.
After two weeks of intense travel, crossing eight countries, winning seven trophies and 1100 Euros in prize money the team was delighted – after achieving fourth place several times – to take first place.
Dr Kevin Robinson CEng MIMechE FHEA, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath, said: “We went into the awards ceremony knowing we had done well, but not knowing how well. As the trophies were given out, we learned our placings in the combustion class, including second place in sprint and endurance, design and business and first in cost and fuel economy. We won with an impressive score of 889 points out of 1000 and, importantly, won the event overall, with the top electric car more than 80 points behind us.”
Kevin added: “In the last few years, the number of requests for shirt swaps at the end of the competition have gone through the roof, which is a great compliment and I think recognition of Bath’s status within the FS community.”
Team Leader of TBR16, Noel Moorhouse AMIMechE, who has now started work as a graduate engineer at McLaren Automotive, said: “The Formula Student project at Bath ensures the students involved learn as much as possible. I feel I'm a much better-prepared engineer going into the automotive industry and the same, I'm sure, can be said for others in the team. Winning FS Czech was brilliant, as well as the validation of our approach to the engineering design of TBR16. I am immensely proud to have been part of such a special team. Of course, it would have been impossible to achieve such success without Kevin Robinson and Geraint Owen (aka Speed), all of the University technicians and every one of our corporate sponsors."
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