FSAE Italy 2016 - Podium for the Firenze Race Team, 1st Italian Team

The days spent at the Riccardo Paletti racetrack in Varano de Melegari, on the occasion of the Italian event of Formula SAE 2016 were exciting for the Firenze Race Team. Upon arrival at the circuit the guys immediately set to work setting up and organising the pit; the FR-16T is more beautiful than ever and in the air you can breathe the happiness and tension for an event that will determine the result of the work of an entire year. Already in the first phase of preparation comes a pleasant visit from Judge Pat Clarke, who looks at the car with curiosity and, after a pleasant chat full of invaluable technical advice, compliments the work done.

The First Day fully repays the commitment of the entire team in the execution of the project. While Lorenzo and Ilaria are anxiously awaiting the Business Presentation, the Technical Inspection is passed without any problems whatsoever, as is the Tilt Test; the Noise Test is also a success thanks to the new noise attenuation system, specially designed by the guys with extreme precision. The University of Florence car is the first to pass all the day’s tests, thus securing access to the dynamic events! The business event is also a success: the managers manage to interest the judges so much that they take the team to the final. This event will be held on the third day and in which the team will have to compete against the other two finalist teams.

Under the clouds, which make the second day a bit unpredictable, the FR-16T passes the Brake Test with no problem, but the real tests of the day will be the Design and Cost event. In the latter Amedeo demonstrates all his experience and passion, shows the judges the work he has done and wins first place with a cost analysis that is impeccable in every detail! In the Design test, the people in charge of each assembly present the work they have done by exposing all the design choices to a jury of five experts in the field. The car certainly impressed the jury positively, but unfortunately not enough to get through to the final; just one more point would have been enough to be in the top three. The result is nevertheless satisfactory and the team earns many important points.

We are now at the third day and Business presenters face the final confirming third place in the overall ranking! The Firenze Race Team thus ends the static events in first place in the overall ranking! But it’s not over yet, now the FR-16T must take to the track and demonstrate all its qualities.

The dynamic events begin and in the Skidpad test the car doesn’t seem to respond at its best, however, guaranteeing a fairly good positioning; in the Acceleration Leonardo takes full advantage of the incredible torque provided by the Beta 520 turbo, stops the stopwatch at just 4.08 seconds and returns to the box amidst the shouts of joy and applause of his companions. Only the most demanding test of the day remained: the autocross. Two drivers, two timed laps for each. Leandro starts, makes a good time on the first lap and manages to improve it on the second! Changing drivers, Tommaso did an excellent first lap, with a time very close to Leandro’s best time; he started the second lap convinced he had room to improve his time further, but at the start something went wrong… the engine didn’t respond as it should and the Florentine team thus took ninth place in the autocross classification. Fortunately nothing serious for the car, a small modification and it will be ready for the most demanding and important test the following day.

The day of the Endurance arrives: 22 km, a driver change and a lot of tension; it’s the decisive race. Tommaso starts, the car seems to respond very well, it behaves impeccably in the corners. After a few perfect laps, however, the engine begins to have some uncertainty, and the tension is high in the stands… but lap after lap, the team becomes more and more confident. We are now at the driver changeover; the engine is switched off, Leandro climbs aboard, belts tightly fastened and… off we go! The car does not always respond at full power but it is still reliable and behaves well in the slalom; we are almost at the end, the last pass across the finish line is now close and the excitement is through the roof, at the last few corners the whole red part of the grandstand is on its feet and the Firenze Race Team sees the chequered flag waving! Applause and shouts of joy invade the grandstand! Reaching the end of the Endurance race is a crazy emotion.

It’s time for the prize-giving, and after a beautiful speech by champion Alessandro Zanardi we come to the awarding of the prizes. The Firenze Race Team won the recognition for the best technical innovation for driving safety put up for grabs by ZF Motorsport and ZF TRW and the prize for the best presentation at the Cost Event; in terms of the overall ranking, it took third place! There are no words to describe the satisfaction, also because it is the first place among the Italian teams.

The result fully repaid the boys’ efforts and increased their desire to improve even more; the team is looking forward to a new project and a new exciting adventure.

Static Events:

**Final Position Static Events: 1°*.

Dynamic Events:

Final position overall: 3rd
First Italian Team