is a team of 30 dedicated members all working towards getting a single-seater electric race car designed, manufactured and tested in the space of a year. The team consists of students from multiple departments including the School of Engineering, Warwick Business School and the Department of Computer Science, with the help and facilities of WMG.
The team usually spend their summer in the workshop building a race car. The Covid-19 lockdown hasn’t stopped them from designing and virtually validating their second electric competition car, WRe2.
The design of WRe2 was started by the 4th year team in October last year who completed development of the powertrain, suspension and chassis. Over the last few months this work has ramped up, continually improving the designs.
As a team first, the bespoke powertrain has not one, but two rear electric motors. The idea of two motors is to allow better control when deploying power in race conditions.
The Control Systems team have been working on developing a traction control system, employing the E400 Automotive Motor Controller under guidance kindly provided by Embed. The framework was developed in Simulink with future expansion kept in mind. Specifics of the vehicle powertrain, suspension configurations and tyre models were considered to achieve the fastest acceleration possible whilst effectively managing rear tyre slip.
Meanwhile, the workshop has very recently opened so students have started preparing the car that they’ll eventually see doing 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds. This has a power to weight ratio of around 300hp/tonne comes very close to the ratios seen in Formula E racing!
Rens Bossers, the chief powertrain engineer for the coming year says:
“WRe2 is a level up for Warwick Racing. By learning from issues found during the build of WRe1, our first electric car, the design is very resilient. As reliability is historically a very significant factor, WRe2 puts us in great stead for a very competitive finish at our annual competition, FSUK. The dual motor setup is also a massive step towards the 4-wheel drive powertrain that we aim to achieve in the near future.
“It is great that we have had the support of several major sponsors such as Catapult, Ford and RS Components – their support has got us to where we are and enables us to continually come up with new, innovative designs.”
However the design and validation of the new vehicle isn’t all the team have been up to, they’ve also been able to virtually race their current vehicle, WRe1, in the FSUK 2020 Virtual Challenge.
66 teams participated in the event, with the Warwick Racing team managing to get into the final for cost, finishing in 5th place. In their business presentation the team finished in 7th place.
As a first for this year, the dynamic events included wheel to wheel sim racing. Despite having little preparation time, the team finished in 10th place overall, with their best performance being 3rd place in an individual race out of 34 competing teams.
Iqra Hamid, Chief Powertrain Engineer for the 2019/20 season who oversaw the development of both vehicles comments:
“I’ve always had a passion for Engineering and all things motorsport so being involved with Warwick Racing over the past 4 years has been an amazing experience! The team have come a long way in such a short space of time with the development of WRe1 and now WRe2.
“Whilst we weren’t able to showcase our performance live on the track this year, I’m proud of how well the team came together to make the most of the situation during lockdown, achieving some of our best results to date in the virtual Formula Student competition.
“As the team now enters the new season, I’m looking forward to watching the team continue to build upon this success and achieve even better results at FSUK 2021!”
The entire car is built using funds from sponsors – without their generous support the project would not be possible. With thanks to WMG, Catapult HVM, Ford, Embed, Zuken, Vector, Emrax, Demon Tweeks, Loctite, RS, Colt, Igus, Lohmann Technologies, Aquajet, IMI, GRM, ST Motorsport, B-G Racing, Race Parts, AIM, OBP, Powerflex and the many other supporters of the project.