Lincoln 2016: Day 3

The team worked yet another long restless night in our hotel parking lot working on the car, the team arrived to competition ready to attempt our second technical inspection. Unfortunately we were unable to pass on our second round of inspections, although we still had time to try again and solve some minor errors on the car such as the brake light, headrest, and fuel filler cap.

With one last attempt at technical inspection, the team was on the edge of our seats waiting for the news to return of our fate. Finally after nearly an hour of waiting we were all happy to hear that we had passed on our final round of the tech inspections!

Our next check was the tilt test later in the afternoon in order to inspect for any leaks the car may have. We topped up our fuel tank at the fuel station and headed onto the tilt table. With our driver Christophe fully strapped into our vehicle and ready to go, we mounted up to the tilt table and readied for inspection. The car was raised to 45 degrees and with no leaks we were raised to 60 degrees. Neither tilt showed any leaks and we passed our tilt test on our first go.

After tilt, the team rushed over to the noise test. We were having engine starting issues throughout the day and the car did not want to cooperate during our noise check. After a few runs of our starter attempting to pull our motor into ignition, it finally started up and idled properly. Our first run of noise, the car passed the decibel range, though it did not shut off properly meaning we had to try again. The car then passed noise exceptionally well the second time through and we could add yet another tech sticker to our vehicle.

Our final test of the day was the brake test. The team knew we were going to have issues with the car earlier in the day, though we were not going going to give up this fight. We had not been able to get our shifting mechanism and electronics to work, so we had to manually place the car into gear, which put the engine under load during idle and would lead to issues getting our car to move. On our first attempt the car started but then stalled when the clutch was released. This happened again and again after a few tries. Finally, our batter was drained due to use and we had to recharge if we wanted to try again. After a quick charge of our battery, we rolled back up to to brake test. We knew this was our last shot of the day as the skid pad was closing in a few minutes. With no time to spare, we decided to give it all we had in this last attempt. We kept the car near redline in attempt to keep it from stalling and let the clutch out at a snails pace. The car moved under its own power for the first time! Though it was short lived, because as soon as the clutch was completely let out it died again. We decided to give it one last go, though our results did not differ.

With the skid pad closed for the night, we were out of this years competition, though we all kept our heads held high as we accomplished much more than we had believed we could for this year. Ultimately, we as a team are very proud of the work we have done over the last year. We lost nearly all our previous design team from last year, and we are very thrilled about our results from this year. Tomorrow we will take the day to talk to other teams, think about what we have learned over this week, and look into how we can ultimately make next years Formula car better than ever. Thank you for all your encouragement over the past year and we hope you tune in over the course of the next year as we apply our knowledge to the fullest and push our team to the limits. Thank you all again!