>F24+ Round 9 - The Final Round, Goodwood Motor Circuit
So, the final round was upon us... The pressure was on, for the first time in 6 seasons of Horsfall Racing, we were leading a National Championship but with feirce competition from Jet, R-PodS, Simple Trug, Dougal and Jaguar with CX-EV the stage was set for what looked to be one of the closest fought F24+ Championships.
Having sailed through pre race scrutineering at the Greenpower Centre on Saturday we were clear for practice as soon as the track opened. Laura took the wheel for the final round and so headed out on to an increasingly busy circuit setting some disappointing laps, some 20 seconds slower than our last outing at Goodwood.
We had upped our gearing from our last event at Goodwood so we were expecting to set some blindingly fast laps but on speaking to Laura it appeared that traffic just didn't allow for a single clear lap. We plugged the laptop in to establish current draw but we couldn't get a useful connection. We were now driving blind at the most important event to date, worried that perhaps the new gearing was slightly too high we tossed a coin, heads we leave it as is, tails we lower it.
It came in tails - so we launched the car up on to the trestles and completed one of the fastest sprocket changes ever seen at a Greenpower race. As soon as it was back on the ground Laura was back behind the wheel and on her way to the grid taking her place with an impressive array of cars.
As the flag dropped at 10.30 Laura pulled away and started picking her way through the pack, by the end of the first lap she was some 10 secs ahead a gap she persisted in expanding for a few laps setting the first lap in the 3 minute 30's.
This wasn't to carry on for the duration though. Jet from Cullimore racing was starting to skim seconds off our laptimes with both Laura in iWhoosh and Dave in Jet exchanging the out right Greenpower car lap record on several occasions.
Ultimately, though, it was Jet's race with Dave taking the lead shortly before the pitstop.
We finished second with 57miles and enough points to clinch the Championship, which, is a dream come true.
Thank you to all who've supported us.
-Luke and Laura Horsfall
>F24+ Round 7 - Dunsfold Park
After a fraught week of vehicle preparation, interspersed with increasingly more frequent weather updates, we had made it to Dunsfold Park for what promised to be yet another wet/exciting event.
Having already won two rounds this season the pressure was off for this race and thus, Luke was back in cockpit for what would be his only outing this season.
Once we had made it through scrutineering, Luke took iWhoosh out during the practice session to ensure everything was working exactly as it should be. We were instantly on the pace, setting some very competitive lap times, the fastest of which was some 3 seconds quicker than the previous fastest lap. Once we had completed a sufficient amount of clear laps we brought the car in so that we could download and assess the amp drain, on load voltage and motor temperature data.
After a quick scan through the datalogs it became apparent that iWhoosh should be able to sustain a similar pace throughout the course of the 90 minute race that will count towards the F24+ Championship.
Horsfall Racing's very own race engineer, James Arkell, joined Luke on the second row of the grid, providing not only an impressive push but also useful advice on how to navigate through the field.
As the flag dropped Luke quickly sought out every possible advantage to take the lead of the race - one lap in he had taken control and was clearly pushing as hard as iWhoosh would allow to open up as strong lead as possible. This was particularly evident as the car was seen to be gently drifting through both Chicago and Hammerhead.
As the race progressed our rivals from Goodwood earlier on in the season, Simple Trug, began to close in on us. Not one to take this lying down, Luke began to push harder setting some his fastest laps as the battery voltage started to decay. The gap became smaller and smaller until they managed to sneak past on the entry to Hammerhead.
Now the race was on.
The rain began to fall but sadly, the lap times increased... In what many may call an ambitious manoeuvre, Luke elected not to lift off the throttle around Hammerhead in bid to get past three back markers and hopefully, decrease the gap between iWhoosh and Simple Trug. Sadly, this did not work. iWhoosh performed a full 360 degree spin, losing 15 seconds.
Our only hope now was a lightning fast pit stop. 45 Minutes in to the event the pit board went out and Luke came in.
Laura and James completed an incredible service on the car in an extraordinary short amount of time, 33 seconds quicker than the car ahead of us. But would this be enough?
We rejoined the race in second place and had brought the gap down but the pace of Simple Trug was to prove just too much for us on this occasion and we were to finish in a very credible second place ahead of Jaguar Land Rover and an impressive new entry from Cullimore Racing, Jet.
Next stop, Round 9 – The Championship decider.
>F24+ Round 3 - Rockingham Motor Speedway
Little over one month on from our win at Goodwood we were back on the road, this time making the 2 hour journey North to Rockingham Motor Speedway for Round 3 of the Formula 24+ Championship.
Since our last event, Jaguar Land Rover had taken victory at Croft in North Yorkshire ahead of Pentland Electric Racing and their vehicle, Mjolnir. So it was important for us to try and stay ahead of Jaguar Land Rover's CX-EV if we were to maintain our lead in the Championship. We also had fresh competition in our sister car, Stealth Aero, which was racing for the first time in F24+ alongside reigning champions R-PodS.
Once we were clear of scrutineering we took the car back to sit alongside Stealth Aero whilst we completed a few final checks ahead of practice. We sent iWhoosh out with Laura at the helm for two flying laps both of which tracked a slightly different racing line to see if there were a particular advantage in either of the two routes around the Rockingham Oval.
Laura put in two incredible laps in practice which were both faster than the existing lap record, however, R-PodS was only 4 secs behind. We were going to have to put in a faultless performance, in what were rapidly becoming quite changeable weather conditions, if we were to stay ahead of R-PodS.
We brought the car back in at the end of it's fourth tour of the circuit. Ever the professional, Laura decided to focus on the task in hand and stayed iWhoosh with her crash helmet on whilst the rest of the team checked it over and swapped over to race batteries.
Laura lined up on the second row of the grid next to sister car Stealth Aero and Dougal, the all new vehicle from past champions, Sandbach High School. At 11 am the union flag dropped on the third round of the 2012 F24+ Championship and the cars were away. Laura was clearly in no mood to mess around and before she had crossed the line to officially begin her first lap, she was more than a clear cars length ahead of anyone else on row two.
The rest of the team were stationed atop of the pit complex and were able to get a near 360 degree view of the circuit, which was the perfect place to watch Laura move up through the field. We all let out a big cheer when we saw her overtake R-PodS for the lead midway around turn 4 on her first lap.
It wasn't until Laura had completed her third lap that we began to appreciate the true pace Laura and iWhoosh were showing as she completed the 1.47 mile lap in 2 mins 9.742 seconds - an average speed of 40.8 mph and some 13 seconds faster than the previous lap record.
At approximately 45 mins both iWhoosh and Stealth Aero came in to the pits for their respective pit stops. These were also completed in record time which saw iWhoosh head back out slightly further in the lead than before the pit stop phase of the race.
The weather at this point was really taking a turn for the worse with both the wind and rain becoming stronger. We were sure not to let this dampen our spirits however, as Laura and iWhoosh came through at the end of the 90 mins with two new F24+ records. The first for travelling the greatest distance in 90 mins, having covered a total of 57 miles, and fastest lap at Rockingham this also saw us become the first to break the 40 mph average speed barrier over a single lap.
Another superb days racing that has placed us at the top of the championship table with maximum points.
Next stop, Dunsfold.
>F24+ Round 1 - Goodwood Motor Circuit
After a fantastic National Final followed by an encouraging test day at Goodwood, we entered this event feeling reasonably confident, but we were quite aware that had several teams to be wary of. Unlike last years final, this promised to be a much closer event. Naturally we have been developing the vehicle over the winter and with a new pit stop system in place we were excited at the prospect of a close race.
Laura, now in her 10th season in Greenpower, headed out in practice on the same gearing that we had run at the National Final last year. She completed 2 flying laps then came in. We then evaluated the datalog and saw that we were actually using marginally less power than before, so we had a vote and decided to take the risk and up the gearing slightly. This is the result of a combination of things, certainly, both the fact that Laura 20kgs lighter than me and that we’d made a few small aero tweaks underneath the car.
The Union Flag dropped at 11am and Laura left the second row of the grid, it was immediately quite apparent that Laura was making very slow progress in relation to the rest of the field. She powered on through though and by the end of the first lap she was back up in to 3rd and had made up considerable ground against the cars in 1st and 2nd.
All three of the cars at the front of the pack piled in to Woodcote and the front two cars, iWhoosh now in P2 and Electrack Young Engineers in P1, made a break for it down the start finish straight. Laura tucked the car up nicely behind P1 and pulled out and round some traffic, leaving electrack with no choice but to take the long way round. From then on in Laura eked more of a lead with each lap, finishing the race in P1 a whole lap up on P2, and very nearly 2 laps up on P3.
We equalled our race record from the 2011 Final of 55.2miles and came very close to breaking our lap record.
It was the perfect way to kick off the season, next stop, Rockingham
>Goodwood Test day
This year we have found ourselves in a fantastic position, riding on the back of our late success last season we elected to further the development of our iWhoosh, rather than to build an all new vehicle. This has meant that we were available to make full use of the Goodwood test day for development rather than purely just fault finding with an all new car.
With Laura slated to take the full time race drive this season and with the Corporate Challenge just around the corner we elected to share the driving over the course of the two sessions.
The weather was superb all day and made for some fast lap times, with the first coming in at 3mins 42.4 seconds a full second faster than at the final round of the season.
We managed over 3 hours running ce than us over the course of the day left us with lots of useful data to analyse ahead of the Corporate Challenge in a few weeks time.
>Horsfall Racing eBay Workshop Clearout pt.1
We've just uploaded to eBay a first round of items fresh from the Horsfall Racing Garage.
Some of these items will probably be really quite useful to teams that are just starting out, others are just quite difficult or expensive to source in the first place.
Below is a list of items and a link to the appropriate auction;
New 47t Chain ring 130mm PCD - http://tiny.cc/a0um8
New 50t TA Criterium Chain ring - http://tiny.cc/mqyj2
New 52t Stronglight Chain ring - http://tiny.cc/po21v
54t Chain ring - http://tiny.cc/tbi9q
60t Chain ring - http://tiny.cc/h3f2d
Shimano Nexus 7 Hub and Shifter - http://tiny.cc/gp0vy
New 160mm BBB Brake Disc Rotor - http://tiny.cc/4n20q
and another New 160mm BBB Brake Disc Rotor - http://tiny.cc/h1yub
Brake Lever with microswitch - http://tiny.cc/u2ym2 - Perfect for brake/brake light system or accelerator.
New Shimano XT Front Disc Brake Hub - http://tiny.cc/hg3eg - We have another one of these built in to a 20" 406 wheel. We could always build this in to an identical rim and sell as a pair for around £160 or £180 for both with rim tape, innertubes and part worn Schwalbe Stelvios. Expect a couple of weeks turnaround for spokes to arrive and for us to actually build the wheel.
We hope some of this stuff will help some other teams out.
Any questions direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always on the look out for companies to join forces with Horsfall Racing but as we shift our focus towards 2012 we have a few special opportunities open at the moment.
We are currently seeking companies or individuals that would be willing to assist us in the following;
CNC Milling/Turning - We require 2no. Aluminium hubs circa 140mm dia to suit new front wheels and approx 12 "bobbin" inserts/"Top hats" to mount some of our more substantial components more rigidly.
Composite Vacuum Bagging Equipment - We are seeking some Vacuum Bagging equipment to aid us with the construction of both body panels and structural components.
Funding for new Batteries and Motor - We require two new batteries to add to our "stock" to enable us to compete at the Corporate Challenge in April 2012. Each battery costs £50 + VAT and and a single motor costs just £156 and can be purchased on our behalf directly from Greenpower.
This will be updated regularly with more opportunities as they are required and shall be featured on the sponsors page.
If anybody feels that they or their company could help please contact email@example.com
Those who do donate components to Horsfall Racing will have their logo/link to their website featured at the bottom of every HorsfallRacing.co.uk webpage and a write up about themselves and their contribution to our project.