We are glad to announce that the new competition season of Estonia's Formula Student team has been kicked off with a bang. The newest of our formula race cars which will be powered by electricity is yet to be completed but our combustion car that was unexpectedly victorious the last season took on a trip to the other side of the Atlantic in May. The competitions in the USA and Canada are now over and our trophy collection has been increased by some shiny objects.
Nice catch from the other side of the ocean (the biggest of them is really huge...)
In the end of April the FEST12 was packed in a huge crate and airmailed to the USA. Few weeks later some of our team members followed. After a day or two of acclimatization, constructing the formula race car and some last minute testing it was time for the competitions of Formula SAE Michigan with 104 competitors. The first day of the competitions was, as always, reserved for the registration procedures and the scrutineering. The second day, however, the static events began - we had to present our design and cost reports as well as a business plan. Even though our business plan and cost report results were modest, we still managed to get to the design finals and eventually be awarded second place for it.
Presenting our cost report in Michigan
The thrid day was devoted to the dynamic events. This season many teams have decided to get into the dark secrets of aerodynamics and wings could be seen in any shapes and sizes. The dynamic events were a success for us - TOP10 results in skid pad and autocross and in acceleration even 4th place. The last dynamic event was the endurance which is the most important, the most nerverecking and the most exhausting took place in the last day of the competitions. Despite the slippery track that had been greased quite generously, we could say that our run was a success: the FEST12 behaved well, our drivers were doubtlessly worthy of the challenge and we had a bit of sportman's luck and some cleverness. And so we managed to secure the second place in endurance. We were beaten only by the team from Akron University. Global Formula Racing that were the favorites of this competition as well as the winners in three previous years could not test their endurance due to some technical issues. Their formula race car just wouldn't start.
The team on chilly Michigan track
This time we didn't manage to collect first prizes in any single events but results near the top in dynamics as well as in statics still brought an overall 2nd place to Estonia in the competition between 104 teams. We were only defeated by the team from Stuttgart who in some previous years had been in our shoes, having to settle with being the second best overall. The trophy that was ceremonially presented to us was huge as one would expect from any competitions held in the USA.
Then it was time for a little break. Once we had already come so far away from home it was essential we'd take maximum of the experience. So it was collectively decided that a road trip is in order. This trip was not in the team's budget so everyone had to get out their own wallet. The destination was south to see the southernmost point of continental America. After this small interaction with the local lifestyle it was time to head north to take on the Formula North competitions in Canada. Yet again the competions set off with the registration procedure and scrutineering. The seond day was reserved for the statics and the third and fourth for the dynamics. This time the business judges were more generous and we were awarded the 3rd place. Unfortunately, our cost report results did not improve because it seems that the price of our car is something that needs a severe optimization in the near future. Design presentation brought us yet again a 2nd place.
Feedback after the design finals in Canada. Seems a lot more crowded than hockey...
The dynamics worked out extremely well: 2nd place for acceleration, 4th in sprint, even 1st in autocross and 3rd in endurance. All in all we got the 2nd place for the dynamic events and a whopping 1st place for the static events. Among 27 teams we managed to make the podium and rise on the second highest position. To top all that the female members of the Formula North team presented a special award for 'The Sexiest Accent' and it seems that no accent is sexier than a lovely Finno-Ugric Estonian English.
A humble reception for our heros in Tallinn airport
And now the FS Team Tallinn is reunited. Some members have examinations to pass and some had to defend their thesis right after arriving from the states. In addition we are determined to work on our electric formula. The motor and most of the battery cells have already arrived but there is much to be done. The deadline is close because the next competitions for us are in August. So we expect the next few months to be hectic...