Racing team electrify the crowds at Chinese event
The University of Bath’s student electric racing car team, Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRE), has recently returned from competing at Formula Student Electric China (FSEC) in Zhuhai, China. TBRE arrived in China as not only the top UK electric team and only UK representatives, but also the first time a UK team has competed at this event. The team of undergraduate student engineers from the University of Bath’s Faculty of Engineering & Design arrived a couple of days before the car was delivered, having been in transit for near two months at sea. The car experienced minor damage during transit which the team quickly addressed ahead of the pre-race technical inspections. Formula Student Electric China 2018 was a large event, significantly larger than the equivalent electrical entry at Formula Student UK with a total of 53 vehicles competing in the electric class and a further 12 in the autonomous class. The team performed strongly at the static events namely achieving second place in the business presentation event and eighth place in the design event. However, it was during the afternoon where problems hit and the team failed one of the final tests. The problem was identified to be within the accumulator (high voltage battery pack). Vibration of the battery inside the shipping container had caused problems with the circuit boards. It was deemed too risky to run the car as a result. After what was a very long day, all seemed over from a racing perspective because without passing scrutineering there would be no opportunity to compete in the dynamic events. However, the Bath students were determined not to go down without a fight, and the following day they pulled together to disassemble the battery, design new printed circuit boards and sent the designs off to be made within 12 hours by a manufacturer four hours away. Desperate to compete on the final day, some of the team travelled in the early hours to collect the circuit board. The team worked to get the car ready but unfortunately they didn’t make it in time to complete scrutineering and therefore were not be able to race the following day. Despite this, the team continued to work on the car to finish the rebuild and this dedication was recognised and repaid by the judges who allowed the team to race on Saturday, albeit not for points. In what was a bittersweet moment for the team, the car performed extremely well on the endurance circuit, four seconds faster than any of the previous cars on the circuit. TBRE18 team manager, Elizabeth Maclennan, said: “Although the team didn’t achieve our anticipated score at Formula Student Electric China, no one could argue that we didn’t achieve our utmost in terms of overcoming technical challenges, persevering in the face of adversity and demonstrating integrity by prioritising safety over racing. “The team showed incredible strength of character and of that we should be very proud. The trip was hugely enjoyable, and despite the disappointments everyone had an amazing time in China.” The team ranked the top overseas team in the competition and placed 21st out of 53 entrants, despite not competing in any dynamic events. The team came second place in the Business Event, eighth in the Design Event and sixth in the static events. TBRE academic advisor, Professor Peter Wilson said: “This was a demanding, tough, long distance event, challenging the individuals and the team to its limits, however we are very proud to say that the team stuck together, never quit and maintained its sense of humour throughout. They were a credit to the University of Bath, British engineering, and to themselves.” “We are incredibly proud of their resilience, resourcefulness, skill, talent, work ethic, and sheer engineering ability throughout. This was an experience and team that we will never forget.” This is only TBRE’S third year since forming and TBRE19 is already underway. The team are looking forward to building upon the achievements of this year’s team with Formula Student UK at Silverstone next July firmly in their sights.
Team Bath Racing Electric (TBRE) at the Formula Student Electric China (FSEC) in Zhuhai, China