While 2018 had been our best season to date, the team were adamant as ever that 2019 would be the year that HUFS would triumph, and boy were we right. Through careful planning, and exceptional dedication by the team, our final result was confirmed as 29th in a competitive field of 81 cars, a huge success and by far and away the best performance ever by a Hull team, including exceptional results in Acceleration, Skidpad, Sprint and Cost events. (23rd, 14th, 25th and 30th respectively).
The week started on a low, as we had just come from a testing day plagued by issues, however the most severe of these being a snapped rear hub, meaning that we limped the car into our Silverstone pit, unsure for the third year in a row if we would even be able to compete in the event. However, through the hard work of our team members and our sponsors, we were able to produce replacement components and have them delivered to us at Silverstone. After a frantic rebuild of the rear end of the car, the teams confidence began to increase, as we breezed through scrutineering in our first attempt, securing our spot as one of the first 10 teams through the brutal technical scrutineering, meaning the car was ready to compete a whole 24 hours before events were supposed to occur, allowing us to focus on the static events, which in previous years we had been severely lacking in time and prep for. After all three of the static events were complete, including a HUFS record setting cost presentation, team morale rapidly began to increase, as we went from success to success.
As Saturday came around, a sense of elation began to fall over the team, as we began to compete with teams that in previous years we had only dreamed to be competitive with.
Despite being plagued with throttle issues, we set our best ever time at acceleration, securing a 23rd place finish, something that while could have been better, was still a huge success, helped in part by the power produced by the car this year, at 90HP, making it one of the most powerful combustion cars at the event. Next up was skid pad, an event that HUFS had never really had much success at. However, this year that was no to be the case, as between the two drivers a record setting run was made, securing 14th place in a very competitive field, the best ever event result achieved by HUFS to date.
Next up, Sprint. And with our drivers feeling better than ever and ready to tackle the complex course, they each strapped in, and gave it their all, both demonstrating impressive driving skill as they drove the car to a best ever finish, impressing other teams stood on the side-lines. At 25th place finish marked yet another all time best, proving that we had built a seriously competitive car.
Sunday brought round the main event, the fabled Endurance. 22 laps of nail-biting racing action, with up to 6 cars on track at a time. The team went into the event excited, and with the car sounding amazing and coming around the first corner sideways, cheers of elation went up. However, the dream performance was not quite to be, as a loose bit of exhaust packing worked its way into the exit of the backbox. This increase of back pressure caused a chain reaction of events, massively damaging the cars performance, however the car and drivers soldiered on, and upon beginning the last and final lap, the team’s spirits could not have been higher. Could this be the first year we finish the endurance? In short, no, as the car spluttered to a stop, with an empty fuel tank, less than 500m from the finish line.
In summary then. Glass half empty, A year with numerous issues, a car that wasn’t perfect and fell short of the mark. Glass half full, the best year HUFS has ever had, a stellar performance by one of the best teams, showing ultimate commitment, and ultimately, proving that The University of Hull Formula Student Team is a force to be reckoned with.
To the Engineering Department at The University of Hull, and of course our sponsors, without which, none of this would have been possible, we thank you for your continued support. You help make this team possible, and we will strive to make you proud in years to come.