One of the toughest automotive student competitions is taking place at the Hockenheim circuit. 40 teams from eight countries are competing in the Formula Student Germany electric division (FSE). Like the British Formula Student competition, teams have developed a race-car prototype which should offer good driving characteristics, fictively being offered for a reasonable price and must be reliable. In addition, aesthetics, ergonomics and the use of available standard purchase components are also taken into account by the judges.

After winning the British Formula Student competition, Delft University of Technology is aiming for another win on German soil too. The Dutch students have won the previous three editions. But don’t rule-out the University of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and ETH Zürich, all being capable to take the top spot.

Static disciplines
During the three static disciplines the students present their engineering design, cost planning and business plan. These are discussed with a jury of experts from motorsports, auto motive and supplier industries.

Engineering Design:
In the Design Report the students set their solutions and the resulting advantages out in writing. Eight pages of text and technical drawings have to convince the judges of the construction of the car and its qualities. At the competition the judges examine the constructive solutions and discuss them with the students. The scoring regards the written report, the answers in the discussion and the inspection of the car.

Cost Analysis:
Costs are an important factor in building a race car. Hence, the students have to deal with cost estimations, different manufacturing techniques and processes in the Cost Event. The discipline consists of a written report (the cost report) and a discussion with the judges around the manufactured prototype. The cost report contains a list of all components of the car: from wheels to process labour costs for special tooling. The judging comprises the organisation of the cost report, the comprehension of manufacturing processes and the price as well as the performance of a real case task for reducing costs.

Business Plan Presentation:
The teams present their business plans of the built prototype to an assumed manufacturer represented by the judges. The goal is to convince the judges that their car meets the demands of the target group of the non-professional weekend autocross driver best and that it can be produced and marketed profitably. Usually, one or two members of the team give a presentation for ten minutes and are questioned by the judges for an additional five minutes. Content, structure, organisation and performance of the talk are judged as well as the answers the students give.

Dynamic disciplines
During the dynamic disciplines the cars have to prove the performance capabilities of the students’ design on the race track. The disciplines demand different qualities of the car. In each discipline two drivers have two runs (except in the Endurance Event). The best run of the four will be counted as the optimum the car can achieve.

The race cars prove their accelerating abilities over a distance of 75 meters from a standing start. The fastest cars cover the distance in less than 4 seconds and achieve a maximum velocity of more than 100km/h.

Skid Pad / Wet Pad:
The student-built cars drive on a course in the shape of an eight. Two consecutive laps on each circle are driven, with the second lap being timed. The cars demonstrate the steady-state lateral acceleration they can generate. The Skid Pad is carried out on a continuously watered surface (“Wet Pad”) to make sure the conditions are constant for all teams.

The cars drive on a course of perhaps one kilometre through straights and turns, chicanes and slaloms. The lap time serves as an indicator for driving dynamics and handling qualities. The results of the Autocross discipline also determine the starting order in the Endurance.

Providing the highest number of points, the Endurance is the main discipline. Over the course of 22 kilometres the cars have to prove their durability under long-term conditions. Acceleration, speed, handling, dynamics, fuel efficiency and most importantly the reliability of the cars are put to their limits. The Endurance also demands handling skills of the driver as the course can only be walked in preparation. Up to four cars are allowed on the track at the same time. Each team has only one attempt, the drivers change after 11 kilometres. Teams more than one third slower as the fastest team, will just receive the minimum number of points.

Energy Efficiency:
During the Endurance the energy consumption of the FSE vehicles is measured. The points’ calculation does not only evaluate energy consumption, but puts it in relation to speed.

FSE entrylist
FSE awards

Formula Student overall champion
FSE Business Plan Presentation Award
FSE Cost Analysis Award
FSE Engineering Design Award
FSE Acceleration Winner
FSE Autocross Winner
FSE Endurance Winner
FSE Skid Pad Winner
Bosch Engineering “Best Power System”
Daimler “Best E-Drive Packaging”
Dekra “Best Prepared Car For Scrutineering”
Harting “Most Energy Efficient Car”

FSE schedule
Wednesday 30th of July 2014
Scrutineering / Tech Inspection

Thursday 31st of July 2014
Scrutineering / Tech Inspection
FSE Engineering Design & FSE Cost Analysis
FSE Business Plan Presentation
FSE Business Plan Presentation Finals

Friday 1st of August 2014
Scrutineering / Tech Inspection
Skid Pad
FSE Engineering Design Finals
Award Ceremony – Part 1

Saturday 2nd of August 2014
FSE Acceleration
FSE Autocross

Sunday 3rd of August 2014
FSE Endurance
Award Ceremony – Part 2

Follow it live
During the dynamic events a website for the FSG live timing will be available online. On you will continuously find the latest lap times, of the teams on track at that specific moment in time. The personal best of the teams will be shown in green. An overall best time in the respective class (FSC or FSE) will be displayed in pink.

To stay informed, the overall best lap times will always be shown, regardless of the level of lap times achieved at the time.

Tim is co-founder of and works in international motorsport. He found his passion for sustainable racing by joining world's first competition for hydrogen electric vehicles in 2008. He does not doubt on the possibility of a break through of electric racing. And that deserves a platform to keep up to date and to interact. Tim operates on behalf of Formula Blue Media.


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