Széchenyi University Formula Student team aims for the podium

The event took place in elegant surroundings on the ground floor of the University's Management Campus"We can say with some modesty that we can build a good car. The next step is to get it to the finish line," was heard from the Arrabona Racing Team at its traditional design freeze event, referring to the fact that last year, several small technical glitches had prevented the team from being successful. Team manager Máté Kapocsi said confidently that this year they will aim for the podium in every race, and with their new car they will have every chance of doing so. He said that this time, instead of making major developments, they were aiming for perfection of last year's design, a reduction in weight and an increase reliability.

The Formula Student team of Széchenyi István University, the Arrabona Racing Team 2022, held its traditional design freeze event, which, as usual, started with a welcome speech by Dr Barna Hanula.

The event took place in elegant surroundings on the ground floor of the University's Management CampusThe event took place in elegant surroundings on the ground floor of the University's Management Campus (Márton Horváth)

"If I were to spontaneously compare the cars of the universities of Delft, Stuttgart, Esslingen, Brno or Prague with those of Győr, I'm not sure I could choose which one is ours. That means the car is fully developed. It's at a level where it can be mentioned among the teams with a chance of winning."

- said the Dean of Audi Hungaria's Faculty of Automotive Engineering, who pointed out that last year the team was just a tiny bit short of achieving the greatest success in its history.

The legendary engineer was referring to the fact that the two biggest races in 2021 had both ended badly for ART, as they had been forced to abandon the highest scoring Endurance race on both occasions due to a few technical glitches. In this event, the car has to drive 22 kilometres, where the judges assess not only the time but also the fuel efficiency. This is a huge challenge because it is not enough to complete the course, as experts will check the car down to the last screw at the halfway point and a minor technical fault can easily lead to disqualification.

Dr Barna Hanula stressed:

"The University likes Formula Student because it offers a practice-oriented education that produces excellent engineers.

What is great about it is that you can learn not only maths, physics and finite elements, but also management and teamwork. It gives you a lot of what you need to know to work in a company. If you work hard, the economy will reward you: good students are hired before they’ve graduated," said the Dean.

Dr Dániel Feszty, Head of the Department of Vehicle Development, echoed this sentiment, also stressing the importance of training young people.

"Last year, seventeen ART students were given opportunities at Audi, nine of whom started full-time. This is a very good ratio out of a team of sixty-five," the head of the department revealed, adding:

“Being able to put on your CV that you were a member of the Arrabona Racing Team is a huge advantage in the job market.”

Dr Feszty explained in three points why the company supports the University's Formula Student team. Firstly, he spoke about the importance of training young talent. The second point is related to this, that it is important for them to build new competences. He said that ART is ahead of educational content in a number of areas, i.e. it introduces innovative methods, techniques and technologies that have not been tried out in practice in many areas in industry. He gave the examples of multi-body simulation and the hardware-in-the-loop approach.

"The third thing that connects us is our passion for motorsport. Audi is a sporty brand, so we are proud to support a racing team." enthused the head of department.

Feszty Dániel"The Arrabona Racing Team has become a trademark of sorts. Companies appreciate it," said Dr Feszty.

Following this, Máté Kapocsi, team leader of ART, took the microphone and briefly summarised the team's achievements last year.

"ART_08 had a good performance in the races, the only sore point was the Endurance race. In the Austrian race we were stopped by the receivers at the half-way mark due to a caliper leakage, and in the Hungarian race, just 300 metres from the finish, an electronic problem stopped the car completely, forcing us to abandon the race."  Máté Kapocsi explained, adding that in the events where engineering and financial knowledge had to be demonstrated, they had made significant progress compared to previous years.

Máté Kapocsi has set an ambitious goal for the Arrabona Racing Team: the podium!Máté Kapocsi has set an ambitious goal for the Arrabona Racing Team: the podium! (Source: ART)

This summer, the team will test their skills at Europe's most prestigious competitions, the Hungarian (FS East), Austrian (FS Austria) and German (FS Germany). You cannot just enter an event like this, you have to complete an engineering and rules quiz on which competitors are ranked. Just for the record, there are roughly 700 teams in the world in the internal combustion engine category, of which 30-35 are entered in a single event. In light of this, it is of enormous value that the Arrabona Racing Team finished third in the registration for the German event, the world's most prestigious series.

Máté Kapocsi has set an ambitious goal for the Arrabona Racing Team: a podium finish! (Source: ART)

The technical details of the new ART_09 car and the current developments were presented by design manager László Orova.

The presentation, which lasted nearly half an hour, showed that this year's car will be an improved, refined and optimised version of last year's car, with a few technical innovations. The aim was to reduce the weight of the car while maintaining performance and increasing downforce. Reliability was also a major concern, so any suspected sources of failure were detected and corrected.

A good example of the latter is the power distribution unit (PDU), where each consumer is provided with its own fuse. This means that if the power consumption is too high somewhere,  the whole car's electronic system does not shut down, but only the consuming part in question. Last year, such a small electrical fault caused the outage, which has now been corrected.

"In 2021, for the first time in the team's history, we are racing with a so-called self-supporting chassis, a carbon-monocoque body. This year we have not changed that," continued László Orova. "Where we could, we have improved the driver's comfort from an ergonomic point of view, for example with new pedal boxes, a more comfortable seat, redesigned steering wheel. It's also easier to see the car's data in real time with our new telemetry system, so we can warn the driver if there's a problem. This takes the burden off the driver and allows him to focus on driving, as he doesn't have to constantly monitor the readings on the display as the team in the pit box does it for him," explained the design manager.

In the simulations, downforce was increased by 5% on the straight and by 18% on corners, while drag was slightly reduced (Source: ART)

Formula Student 4.jpg

In the simulations, the downforce was increased by 5% in a straight line and by 18% in a corner, while drag was slightly reduced.
(Source: ART)

Readers who want more technical details can watch the design freeze event on Arrabona Racing Team's YouTube channel.

Design Freeze: The design freeze is always a milestone in the ART calendar: the design phase is completed and the production of the components and assembly of the car begins. This is followed by the testing phase, and then the engineering year ends with the summer races, which run from September to August.

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