This year we finished 57th overall. The timing of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix resulted in a reduced field due to other European Formula Student events clashing with this year’s Silverstone.
The team pushed all year to meet submission deadlines, aiming to arrive at Silverstone with no penalties. We hoped to start with a clean slate.
Throughout the manufacturing stage the team had been struck with internal delays and difficulties finding suppliers for components. With only days before the competition, the whole team was still hard at work producing the 2017 Nighthawk.
A few members were sent ahead to register the team and the drivers for the event. Whilst there, they worked on putting the finishing touches to the business presentation and the cost report special case. These efforts proved fruitful because we scored 55.2 points – our best ever result in the business presentation, ranking us 25th!
The rest of the team arrived on Thursday night after one final manufacturing push. The team then prepared for the design and cost judging. This included preparation of the vehicle for scrutineering and adding the stickers to the car!
The design report went smoothly with the team being advised to focus more on practically testing the components and bringing more supporting materials to the presentation. Further preparation was also recommended to the team in response to the cost report. The team conducted themselves professionally and delivered it well. Overall, two constructive and informative events!
It was then time to tackle scrutineering. The team made it to technical scrutineering and came back with only a small list of items to address. We passed on the second trip. The chassis passed with barely any issues at all. This was followed by a smooth trip through “safety”!
The team then moved on to the fuelling and tilt tests. At this stage we encountered an issue that had previously gone undetected. When we were fuelling up the car, it was noted that the tank appeared to take more fuel than it was designed to hold. We attributed this to a manufacturing variance. However, as the car was lifted onto the tilt rig it was apparent that this was due to a much larger problem: the car leaked fuel. The diagnosis was a hairline crack in the welds in our aluminium tank. Sadly, with only an hour until dynamic scrutineering closed, this marked the end of our 2017 competition.
Overall it was a disappointing ending to the event for the team but we cannot fault our team members for the incredible effort they put into finishing the car or the immense dedication they showed throughout the year. We would like to thank all our generous sponsors who made this project possible through both funding and their expertise. Heartfelt thanks to the University of Hull and our faculty members for all their help and guidance.
Let’s make 2018 a year to remember.