Friedrichshafen. The race cars of Formula Student Germany (FSG) may only zoom around race tracks during the summer months, but the teams taking part in the students’ international design competition will still have little time to relax this fall and winter. In these months, the cars are prepared for the new season. At the invitation of the FSG organizing committee and ZF, around 300 participants from 71 teams came to Friedrichshafen on Saturday for the official kickoff to the 2019 season. Of the 300 participants, nine came from other European countries.
What changes to the FSG regulations can we expect next season? What technical developments are emerging, especially in the relatively young Formula Student Driverless field with autonomous vehicles? The around 300 participants exchanged thoughts and information on these topics in the ZF Forum on Saturday. “We are delighted to host the FSG season kickoff,” says Martin Frick, Head of HR Marketing at ZF, whose department coordinates the company’s FSG activities. “The ZF Forum provides an excellent environment in which to exchange experience. It’s an ideal place for participants to network and hold feedback rounds with the jurors, who can further teams with their practical tips.”
The FSG season kickoff was characterized by a diverse program. Dr. Mark Mohr, Head of Development in the Commercial Vehicle Technology Division, presented the ZF “Next Generation Mobility” corporate strategy to the participants and illustrated how ZF has positioned itself in order to help shape the mobility of tomorrow as one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. In their presentation, Sven Behrens and Benedikt Ruhdorfer, both with the ZF Race Engineering GmbH, explained how different types of shock absorbers influence the driving behavior of race vehicles. The teams from the University of Stuttgart, the Technical University of Munich, ETH Zürich and the Universities of Applied Sciences in Augsburg, Munich and Graz all reported on the experiences they gained in the three FSG disciplines with combustion engines, electric drives as well as autonomously driving race cars. Formula Student Driverless especially was met with great interest by the participants, as this discipline pursues the forward-looking automated and autonomous driving functions at the all-important interface between research and practice.
“For many years, ZF has been a reliable partner of Formula Student Germany,” says Dr. Ludwig Vollrath, Member of the FSG Board. “With ZF’s commitment, the company enables students to take part in the competition under professional conditions. Besides the lectures, they gain important practical experience in the automotive field, which ideally equips them for their later professions.”
ZF and Formula Student Germany
ZF’s support for the FSG competition is in its second decade. Currently, the technology company supports 39 teams worldwide, among them teams in Japan and the U.S. One highlight is the ZF Race Camp, which takes place annually in Friedrichshafen, Germany in June. Here, under the guidance of ZF experts who are also active as FSG officials, teams can prepare specifically for the FSG competition in Hockenheim.
The next Formula Student Germany competition is scheduled to take place at the Hockenheimring from August 5 to 11, 2019. FSG is online at www.formulastudent.de.