Rac­ing team elec­trify the crowds at Chi­nese event

Bath Chronicle - - NEWS - Olivia Scull Print writer 01225 322 273 olivi­aalexan­[email protected]­plc.com

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

Run­ning re­pairs

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