Reviews, Dynamic Steering and a Race Report
The suspension of any vehicle is a vitally important aspect of the vehicle dynamics base as a platform around which a vehicle is designed and that on which it rests, rides and relies upon for compliance and dynamic control. The steering system is an important part of the vehicle dynamics package, allowing for the driver inputs to be translated to vehicle behaviour in a responsive and intuitive manner.
For the 2021 vehicle, focus is being placed on development of the suspension geometry from 2020 as a valuable datum on which to develop new concepts and improve on the design. The steering department has been ensuring the driver has positive feedback from the vehicle through the investigation into the combined effect of pneumatic and mechanical trail. Constant collaborative and cohesive design between steering, suspension and uprights makes this possible. The intention is to aid in driver feedback and a responsive tyre grip feel and tyre breakaway at the limit of grip direct to the drivers fingertips, all whilst ensuring minimal unwanted characteristics such as heavy steering are mitigated as far as is practical. This balancing act is to be aided through the implementation of a new steering rack, a significant toe base providing greater control of the upright, and through, a simplified steering shaft routing.
Further development is underway investigating the use of multilink suspension arms in place of one A-arm wishbone on the front corners, with the hope that advantageous and novel wheel control can be developed and proposed for future years, further mitigating bump steer and to provide a dynamically responsive method of providing a wind-on effect to wheel camber and castor based on vehicle roll and steering input angle.
6 Hours of Kent Race Report
After an excellent qualifying from all drivers, two of the three SHU Racing cars were able to qualify in the top split, with #361 starting in P20 and #111 starting alongside in P21. Car #505 just missed out on top split but started on pole position in the secondary race ahead of the University of Sheffield in the BMW GT4.
After a clean start from all cars, the odds looked promising with our drivers making early moves up the field. However, misfortunes soon followed as penalties, connection issues, and unlucky accidents sent our cars backwards during the race. Not to back down from a challenge our incredible drivers pushed through the remaining hours to claw back the time lost with #361 recovering from P34 all the way back to P18! Car #111 driven solely by Harlen for 5 hours managed P30 after being forced to pit due to the connection problems and only 6 laps down from the lead car. Car #505 drove superbly to recover from huge damages finishing P26 in the secondary race.
With all that said and done, our team and drivers thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we all cannot wait to get back in the sim in the future for the next race!
Last Tuesday and Wednesday, the full team spent 2 evenings reviewing all individual components, assemblies and dissertations relating to SHU Racing 2021. This was a great chance for everyone involved to see exactly how components have been designed this year and how they are intending to be manufactured. It is also the perfect opportunity for us to spot any potential issues that may have been overlooked in the last few months. This allows us to make the corrections now, before manufacturing of the car begins, and before we reach the teams internal design freeze on the 14th of December.
As well as this, third year students are also given the option to produce a slide to discuss their final year projects where they relate to the team. For many of them, this is the first time anyone except for their tutor may have offered an opinion on their work. This allows for more ideas and options to be discussed and can potentially open up new avenues for them to explore. We look forward to seeing how their projects continue to evolve over the next six months.
Meet the Team
Meet the Team is an opportunity for us to give you a chance to learn a little more about the people who make up SHU Racing. This week, we welcome our EV teams control systems manager, Jennifer Jones. Jenny oversees all control system components in the EV car. This includes the battery and its management system as well as the accumulator
Name: Jennifer Jones
Course: Meng Aerospace Engineering
Role: EV Control Systems Manager
Number of years with the Team: 1
Hobbies and Interests: Climbing
Favourite Car: Tesla Model X
Dream Job: Astronaut
Reasons for Joining SHU Racing: Interesting challenges and problems to solve