Rockingham Season Opener

On Wednesday 7th May, Redborne Racing attended the Greenpower Racing Season Opener at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, Northamptonshire. The event was the first chance for all of the Greenpower teams to test their 2014 cars together and gather data on the areas in which they needed to develop. Although none of the races at the event counted towards the rest of the Greenpower season, every team raced flat out for pride, and to test their cars to the maximum so that they would be able to gain a greater understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

For us, this event was very important as it was our first chance to test the new rear aerodynamic section on our car (which we hope will decrease the air resistance on our car, therefore improving top speeds). Having only attaching this rear section to our car a week prior to the event, we were all worried that it wouldn’t work or, worse still, that it would come off the car during a race! However, our data from the Season Opener suggests that it definitely improved our aerodynamic performance and thus our overall speed and mileage. Despite this, the new Greenpower Regulations, which have changed the format from one four hour race using three sets of batteries to two 90 minute races using just one set of batteries per race, consequently lowering our average speed for the race.

One of the advantages of the new race format is that if will encounter problems in the first race, we can make changes for the second. This exact scenario happened at Rockingham. During the first race, we used a 17 toothed sprocket in the hope that it would improve our efficiency at a slight cost of top speed. However, the results from the first race were that our efficiency was not dramatically improved from what it would be with a larger sprocket, but our top speed was vastly lowered. Acting upon this new information, we switched to a 20 toothed sprocket for the second race, hoping it would give us better results. I completed our fastest lap in the second race of 3 minutes 19 seconds at an average speed of 28mph. This was around 20 seconds faster than the fastest lap of race one.

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