Within the Formula Student competition, there are four dynamic events – acceleration, autocross, skidpad and endurance which are worth a massive 675 points in total. In the case of our team, competing with two cars means we have to train a total of 10 drivers.
While having a reliable and high performing car is one part of the equation, the other is having skilled drivers that can maximise the performance of the car. At Monash Motorsport we realise the importance of driver training and setting an early date for our first drive was necessary for our drivers to understand the cars and gain the experience needed to realise their full potential.
After setting this objective last year, we have come out from 2017 with some experienced drivers in the Formula Student competition. The four endurance drivers have driven a combined distance of 2000km’s with the capability of delivering good feedback and data analysis. Two cars also means two different powertrains with which to drive. Drivers can interchange between the two vehicles and learn the strengths and weaknesses of each car, aiding in the setup changes and improvements for each car.
Driving in Formula Student is unlike any other motorsport category. The events and tracks are designed to test the car on more than just straight line acceleration. As a result, there are very few straights, with the majority of the tracks being made up of corners which requires great concentration and physical fitness. Drivers not only do on-track driver training but also off track fitness to keep focused. The drivers aim to do at least 3 training sessions a week in the gym which includes high intensity training, endurance and strength building. A typical week for a driver will generally include 2 strength sessions, a 7 km run and 1 km swim.
When the cars aren’t able to be used for training, the drivers do simulation training which has digitized versions of the Formula Student Germany, UK and Australasia competition tracks. Additionally, the simulator replicates the drive of the actual vehicles which allows for accurate simulation for training. The simulator was utilised in the 2017 Australasia competition, allowing the drivers to familiarise themselves before the autocross and endurance events. This resulted in the autocross event being over a second faster than before and zero cones hit in both endurances, minimising time penalties.
With all of the training they’ve done, our drivers are highly competitive and are all ready for the three European competitions ahead!
-Chris Chopping (Chassis), Brooke Dadds (Business)