September was a month of the most prestigious events (scroll down for pictures), the car’s first test day with the new team and getting to know the ropes of everyone’s individual function. The interest in Forze and our challenging future plans make the first month even more thriving than expected. In the racing industry it is definitely moving with pace…
The first month was full of events for Forze. On Saturday September 2nd, the Forze VII made its first appearance of the month in Breda. The VSV of the Aerospace faculty invited us to come to their Airshow at Breda International Airport. Our ‘Blue Lady’ was lined up between the airplanes and got lots of attention. Airplane fanatics apparently really like race cars as well!
Next Friday, September 8th, we went up North, to the ‘Ondernemersgala’ in Groningen. The Forze VII was showed off in the spotlights on a huge stage. She was surrounded by a full orchestra for a spectacular night of music and dancing.
Forze’s biggest and most spectacular static event yet was up next. From September 12th until September 17th the Forze VII was exhibited at the world’s largest motor show, the IAA in Frankfurt. At the stand of our partner DSM, we attracted lots of visitors from all over the globe. We were happy to witness the release of many new production cars, including Mercedes Benz’s latest fuel cell model, the GLC F-Cell. It was a fantastic feeling to be appreciated and praised by so many interesting people in the automotive industry.
On Thursday September 28th the Forze VI got to be part of yet another interesting event. At the Insight Techshow in Amsterdam, she was a real eye catcher right at the entrance. Our Software Engineer, Jan Maarten, accompanied our previous racer and found himself in his natural habitat as the theme was ‘Connected through the Cloud’.
The next day, the Forze VII was taken to its last event of the month. In Deventer, the ’24h Waterstof Challenge’ was about to begin. Six teams attempted to drive their hydrogen fuel cell car as far as possible through Europe in 24 hours. Forze was happy to launch the challenge and speak to some interesting people in the hydrogen industry. We hope the challenge gives another boost to the awareness of the potential of hydrogen.
We are technically busy
Vehicle dynamics has started with the design of the new subframe. Joints are being modelled, meetings are still held till deep in the evening and early hours tweaking of the suspension is not uncommon. Luckily, we have a (vehicle) dynamic duo working around the clock to make sure the subframe will be nothing less than the absolute best. Our aerodynamics engineers are still glued to their computers doing nothing but modelling and looking at pictures of the most advanced race cars. Meanwhile the fuel cell department is breaking their heads over all the data and complicated fuel lines. The electro and powertrain departments have already started visiting sponsors and meeting experts about all the confusing cables, PCB’s and converters.
Only working on new designs however yields a very good car in the simulations but a poorly functioning car. Therefore we also already started with testing. From the first test the new team learned about all the protocols and safety requirements. The old team explained us all the ins and outs of conducting a good test. This resulted in valuable new insights on our humidification system which still needs some fine-tuning. The second test, we conducted our self, was a very exciting one. Finally we had the chance to test our inhouse developed gearbox to the max. During the first part of the test we forgot to turn off the safety, which made us falsely convinced our gearbox was very strong, but when we fixed this mistake, we all got rewarded that our gearbox was indeed very strong as it could handle the maximum torque our motors can deliver. Aside from one of the aerodynamics engineers trying to install the rear wing upside down the test went fairly smooth and gave us confidence in the new team. We are sure the upcoming year will be a rollercoaster with glorious and stressful times, but the past month gave a heads up that we will surely make a hydrogen car that is able to win from combustion cars.
Karsten Bakker, Simon Vermeijlen, Jelle de Vries