This year we finished 98th overall which is not exactly where we wanted to be but with limited resources and finances we are very proud of the team! We learnt so much at Silverstone this year and have a lot of lessons learned and points to take away with us.
After arriving and setting up our pit garage at Silverstone on Wednesday, the Team wasted no time in preparing Nighthawk for scrutineering.
On the Friday, after checking and double-checking everything, Nighthawk was wheeled over to scrutineering for the first time. Unfortunately, during which a fuel leak was identified, but after taking Nighthawk back to pits and fixing this fuel leak we passed the ‘Tech’ section of scrutineering and were awarded with our first sticker. Back in the pits, members of the Team had devised a cunning engineering solution to accommodate one of our drivers, who is slightly smaller than the others. This took the form of wooden blocks attached to the pedal box and a high-density block of foam attached to the seat.
The Saturday was a very successful day for HUFS, with the Team acquiring the ‘Safety’, ‘Chassis’, ‘Tilt’, ‘Sound’ and ‘Brake’ stickers, thus allowing us to proceed onto the dynamic events. Although we had missed out on the acceleration event, we had performed well in the brake test and passed the noise test with only 86 decibels at idle and 105 decibels at full revs – the quietest combustion car recorded that weekend! Safe to say Team Co-Founder Brian Houston was pleased with this result thanks to his exceptional exhaust design. After collecting all six scrutineering stickers, the first half of Saturday afternoon was spent getting our drivers accustomed to driving Nighthawk and tuning the car. Considering that some of our drivers had never driven a car with a sequential gearbox before and had very little racing experience, they handled Nighthawk superbly and we were able to gather some insights into how the car would behave out on the track. The second half of Saturday afternoon was spent out on track, with Brian and Timesh taking part in the Sprint event. After successfully posting their fastest lap times, our two drivers fed back that power was a little boggy at low revs but that Nighthawk felt really solid and well set up overall.
Sunday, the last day of the competition, saw several other teams being disqualified or being forced to retire due to faults or damage. Nevertheless, the Team went through every piece of Nighthawk with a fine toothcomb to ensure that Brian and Timesh would have the best possible chance during the Endurance event in the afternoon. Formula Student 2016 ended with Nighthawk refusing to start due to electrical issues which were likely caused by overheating. Unfortunately, this meant that we were unable to complete the Endurance event, however we still completed 17 of the 22 laps which is a new record for HUFS! Both Brian and Timesh put in an amazing effort to drive Nighthawk that far, but it seems that the hot weather was too much for the battery. However, we were not disheartened because throughout the week, it was very apparent that we had made huge improvements over previous years’ efforts and every single member of the Team had put so much time and effort into achieving this result.
We would like to thank everyone for their support this year and we promise that our car next year is going to do even better!