Estonia hosted Baltic Open competition

FS Team Tallinn season 2009/2010

In september 2009 the joint Formula Student team of Tallinn UT and UAS Tallinn started the new season with the successful Baltic Open 2009 freshly in their minds. FEST09 had turned out to be a very competitive design which still had some unused potential in it, so it was decided to continue developing that car in order to get the most out of it. Plans were made for through overall analysis developmnet to be carried out with an objective to optimize existing details and solutions and some new ideas were to be researched in order to lose weight and improve performance.

As a result, lots of details and systems got improved, the most noteworthy being the R&D that was carried out with the ennegi, the made efforts in order to gain a better insight to the secrets of composite technology and the research of tyre choice and it’s influence to real-life performance. In the previous years the team had spent first part of their summer trying to get a brand new car running and solving reliabilty and setup issues, but this time our new approach let us to fine-tune the car for best competition performance. We decided to compete in Formula SAE Michingan in the USA and Formula Student in Silverstone, England; in addition Baltic Open 2010 was to be organized by the Tallinn team.

 Esimesed välitestid - aprill 2010
 The first field tests in snow and fog - april 2010

The improved car was renamed FEST10 and was shipped to USA for Michigan FSAE competition in may. It turned out to be a showstopper and was praised for its build quality, attractive design and techical solution by judges as well as competitors. It also showed some really promising pace in the first dynamic events, finishing 4th in acceleration and 9th in skidpad. Everything was fine until the sprint event, when a rapidly escalating ennegi problem occured, leading to the failure of 3rd cylinder. Regardless of the the problems we managed to finish 24th in the sprint event.

Removing the cylinder head revealed a broken valve, which had also damaged the cylinder, piston and another valve. Despipte of our efforts, we were unable to source a spare engine for the next day and so the damaged one had to be repaired. The team had to pull an allnighter and come up with some resourceful methods in order to get it running again. With repair finally completed in the next afternoon, we miraculously managed to deliver the car to the start literally only few minuts before the closing time.

FS Team Tallinn koos meid võõrustanud Oakland FSAE meeskonnaga - Michigan International Speedway
FS Team Tallinn with our American hosts, the Oakland FSAE team - Michigan International Speedway, may 2010

The car run suprisingly well even with the damaged engine and covered the first half of the distance with quite a pace, but eventually overheated and failed to start after the driver change, leading to the most disappointing retirement.

The points we managed to gather were still good fora 40th overall placement, a total of 120 teams had registered for the competition.

The American experience was nevertheless fantastic and we made some friends there as well. We want to thank our hosts, the Oakland FSAE team for your hospitality and equally overwhelming helpfulness!

Nevertheless, the team had a really positive feeling about the upcoming Silverstone competition. The unfortunate retirement in Michigan was definetely not the best opening for the season, but the car had demonstrated some really promising pace, thus making us confident about the next race and keeping the spirit high.

And it really lived up to all of our expectations. All that speed was still there and this time there were no mechanical failures to surprise us, allowing FEST10 to place itself amongst the top twelve in almost every event.

FEST10 ja meeskond Silverstone'i ringraja boksisirgel
FEST10 with it's teammates in the Silverstone pit lane.

Finishing 7th overall took us to where we had only dreamed of being a few years ago - next to the best teams in the world!

In the end of the summer we invited teams from Scandinavia and Germany to race in Estonia, a total of 10 cars were signed up for the Baltic Open 2010. The race took place in Rapla karting track and resulted in 1-2 for the Estonians with FEST08 finishing second. Another memorable moment was the Formula Student cruise in the city center and the opening ceremony in the central square.