For all our latest news, please follow us on twitter @warwick_evgp!
With this years teams preparations now underway, check out how events unfolded over in the USA for last years team. See their Daily Blogs below:
Day 01 - Hello USA!
Day 02 - Finding our Kart
Day 03 - Work Continues...
Day 04 - Two down, two to go?
Day 05 - This is the time!
Day 05/06 Midnight Special - Live Updates
Day 07 - The Great Comeback!
Day 08/09 - Take a Timeout
Day 10 - Fixing the Issue...
Day 11 - No Speeding... Accidents do happen!
Day 12/13 - Getting prepped for the show!!
Day 14/15 - We are on TV :)
Day 16/17 - Counting Down...
Day 18/19 - One More Step Closer...
The Big Day - Part 1: Pre-Race
The Big Day - Part 2: The Sensational Finale!
The Big Day - Part 2: A Sensational Finale!
Off we go...
The Indianapolis EV Grand Prix started with 20 karts; all different in terms of technology, ranging from thoroughly developed racing vehicles like the Warwick and Oklahoma karts to karts assembled overnight. Driver variety was just as colourful with professional drivers like Tom with 11 years of racing experience and amateur drivers like Jon for whom it was the first race. Only the race would tell who did the best job and can prove it. So when the green flag flew, Warwick went for it.
Staring from pole on cold tyres Tom completed the first lap in less than 22 seconds and started to edge ahead of the field. But the first incident soon occurred and the first yellow flag came on lap 2 while Tom was already catching the back of the grid. In the first 11 laps only 3 laps were fully green during which Tom set his fastest lap of 21.6 seconds. Lap 11 saw the IUPUI kart #35 in front of Tom; not yielding his position even though Tom’s overtaking manoeuvre was as good as done. The resulting crash led both karts into the barriers… hard. The session was immediately red flagged with other various incidents on track and our kart pulled into the pits in a feeble state; a damaged steering column and right rack-rod. In such a condition Warwick’s hopes of winning the race would have been shattered if not for the chief mechanic Ben Cowling’s unwavering effort. The kart was patched up and sent back into the race 15 laps behind the race leader; the Purdue EVC kart #17.
The Warwick team was not the only one having a hard time keeping out of trouble. By the time we returned to the track, half of the field was in the pits fixing up incident damage including our Warwick-Purdue driver Jon Ikin who, like Tom; did not manage to avoid the incidents around him and thus pulled into the pits with a bent track rod.
In Tom’s skilful hands we continued to make our way through the field, pulling back lap after lap. Warwick was steadily moving forward and climbing up to third from being down in the midfield. By lap 35 we were only 7 laps down on the lead Kart. With the chassis bent from previous accident and the pot box rattling loose due to the track surface; driving the kart was becoming a very difficult task for Tom. Strategic race management and communication from the pits warned Tom of oncoming incidents and guided him to stay out of trouble and push for a podium finish. A fast battery change performed by the two person pit crew on lap 53 meant that Tom could return back to the track with fresh power and in sight of a podium finish.
With the kart numbers on the track severely diminished, Warwick continued moving forward setting some of the fastest laps of the race. Severe vibrations due to a poor track surface shook several battery cell covers off and dispersed them around the track, which coincidentally was filling up with various other bits of kart debris as well.
With the final laps approaching our kart continued to push hard and make its way forward through the field; ever gaining on the lead kart and at the end of our 94th lap, consistent driving and a reliable kart saw the chequered flag fly with the Warwick team finish in third position.
An in-kart Go-Pro video footage will be available here soon.
Driver quote: “This was one of the most challenging races of my life, not for the race itself but for the track surface and the random driver actions out on track. The whole team did a fantastic job bringing home a podium in the race with a kart that had been damaged and should have retired us on lap 11. None of this would have been possible without the hard work from our team, the supervisors, the WMG technicians and of course the sponsors to whom we owe our success most.”
In a race where out of 20 karts starting only 9 cross the finish line and suffering serious accidents, the Warwick team finished in 3rd place in the race, achieved 2nd in Outreach and 4th in Design ultimately leading to an overall 1st place at Indianapolis EV Grand Prix. Congratulations to everyone!!!
Time flies. It really does. Following the end of the EV Grand Prix in Purdue and Indianapolis, it was time for the team to pack everything back into the shipping crate. Mission accomplished and the team returned to England on a Monday evening flight. It was a sad moment waving goodbye to our friends in Purdue.
An amazing year of work together with an incredible comeback in the race has resulted in the team bringing $1500 back to UK and establishing its name in EV Grand Prix as a team that will not be forgotten. With the continuous guidance throughout the year from our supervisors and technicians, combined with the generous support from our sponsors; we made this project possible. It was definitely a remarkable and fruitful experience for every single one of us in the team, not only in terms of the engineering experience; but indeed our personal development. We sincerely hope a new group of students will continue this project and return next year, bringing home another championship with a further improved kart!