FRT 2019 season

On 25 to 28 July 2019, the Firenze Race Team took part in the Formula SAE Italy competition, held at the Riccardo Paletti racetrack in Varano de’ Melegari, where with its FR-19T had the opportunity to compete against more than 40 cars from universities all over the world.

The 2018/2019 year was tough. The team had to cope throughout the winter with building the car in the workshop, which, despite the invaluable help of our sponsors, required great commitment and seriousness. This was rewarded with a great wealth of experience that each member will take with them and a lot of good time spent together.

Returning to the summer chapter, our guys were able to experience first-hand what a real motorsport competition is all about: the preparation, the journey, the final adjustments on the track before firing up the engines and whizzing around the kerbs! The single-seater easily passed the scrutineering tests, where the car’s safety was checked. The first milestone has been reached: the car we designed and built is able to take part in the competition, guaranteeing the required safety standards.

Next we faced the static sevents: in the Design Report we had to present the design of the car in front of an examining board and explain what the design process had been, with choices and justification; in the Cost Report we created a cost analysis model of the complete production chain that made the realisation of the project possible, starting from the cost of a specialised operator to the electrical energy consumed by a machine tool; in the Business Report we drew up the business plan of a hypothetical company that would produce our car in a small production run, analysing costs, timing, marketing and revenues.

We then finally arrived at the dynamic events, where we could compare the performance of our car against that of the many universities present at the event.

Although we had some difficulties due to technical problems with our gearbox, in the Acceleration test we demonstrated the horsepower of our engine, while in the Skidpad we put the vehicle dynamics designed by our guys to the test. Turning to the Autocross test, which measures the vehicle’s performance in the flying lap, our car failed to express its full potential. In fact, at the moment when our drivers had managed to gain confidence, bad weather took over the circuit, causing performance to plummet and relegating us to a less than satisfactory result. The Autocross also counted as a qualification for the next round, the Endurance & Efficiency, to which we started at a disadvantage. The Endurance & Efficiency test consists of 25 laps of the course, a total of 22 km to be experienced with bated breath. In spite of the still uncertain conditions, we opted for dry tyres, a choice that proved to be the right one and allowed us to get a good start. Unfortunately, due to a cooling problem, our single-seater was unable to finish the race, having to be parked at the side of the track by our driver on lap 18.

The final classifications see us as:

Overall: 21/43

Unfortunately, the competition did not go the way we hoped, and above all it did not go the way this car deserved. A mid-table finish does not satisfy us and does not represent us. Positive notes remain: the success of the Cost Report, which saw us just a whisker away from the podium, and the compliments received from the jury in the Design Report, where great potential was seen in it despite numerous mistakes. However, this does not bring us down; on the contrary, it makes us even more motivated to tackle this new season with great enthusiasm! We are ready to set out again to achieve much better results as early as next summer, this time with more experience and skills.

We would like to thank the University of Florence and the DIEF and DINFO departments for their support. We also thank our sponsors, without whom the realisation of this car would not have been possible.