Two years after the last edition held in 2019 before the interruption induced by the Coronavirus pandemic, Varano has returned to live the emotions of Formula SAE Italy, the competition that sees young people from universities all over the world challenge each other with single-seaters designed, built and managed by themselves. The annual Varano event is part of the circle of international events of Student formula which contribute to drawing up a global ranking of participating universities from time to time. Formula SAE boasts a unique charm, managing to combine the resourcefulness of young aspiring engineers with the financial support of large international automotive groups as well as local companies. The boundless freedom of technical regulations is also the basis of an extremely varied fleet of cars, where unprecedented high-level and avant-garde engineering solutions coexist with the concreteness, simplicity and creativity typical of a distinctly young context.
The Formula SAE Italy 2021 enjoyed the support of Lamborghini in the role of main sponsor. Among the numerous realities that made the event possible to organize the event, there are several Italian companies and in particular from the Motor Valley, including Dallara, Brembo, Pirelli, Sabelt, Stellantis and Danisi Engineering. The 2021 edition was held in October, contrary to previous years when the event was held in July and was one of the opening races of the Formula Student summer season. Another organizational innovation in the edition just ended was the division of the event over two weeks, the first of which saw the teams involved remotely in static events, in particular in the Business Plan, Cost Event and Design Event, during which the students presented the entrepreneurial, economic and engineering management of the project respectively.
The teams then gathered at the Varano racetrack from 10 to 13 October for the dispute of dynamic events on the track, divided into:
- Acceleration: the traditional acceleration test;
- Skidpad: the time trial on an eight-way track;
- Autocross: the single lap test;
- Endurance: the test on the distance of 22 km with driver change and with a reserved classification on the basis of energy efficiency.
It was difficult for the Italian teams to repeat the successes of the 2019 edition, a year in which Italian universities triumphed in all categories. The winner in 2021 in the 1E class reserved for electric single-seaters was instead theTallinn University, already winner in 2018 and thus recovering from the disappointment of 2019, when a technical problem in the endurance test deprived the team of success. In second place among electric cars it ranks TU Fast of the University of Munich, one of the most successful teams in Formula Student competitions in recent years. Third place finally for KA-RaceIng E of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The German team seemed to be able to aspire to victory after the first places in the Skidpad, Autocross and Design events, accompanied by second place in the acceleration test, in the Cost Event and in the Business Plan, but a problem in the dreaded Endurance test precluded any possibility. of victory.
Excellent performance of the Dynamis PRC of the Politecnico di Milano, who finished fourth overall at his debut in Varano with an electric single-seater, preceding theUniversity of Parma in fifth place. Other Italian teams present in class 1E include the University of Rome La Sapienza, the University of Naples Federico II and the University of Trento. The Squadra Corse of the Politecnico di Torino, winner in 2019, finished in thirteenth place due to the impossibility of taking part in the dynamic tests due to the failure to pass the technical checks.
The 1C class, which saw the single-seaters driven by a combustion engine as protagonists, was won by the Austrians of Joanneum Racing Graz, which preceded a trio of Italian cars. In fact, they ranked second, third and fourth respectively the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the team Race UP Combustion of the University of Padua And UniBO Motorsport of the University of Bologna, the latter winners of the prestigious Design Event. Also noteworthy is the seventh place of the University of Pisa, the 8th place of the University of Calabria, the 9th place of the Polytechnic University of Marche, the 13th place of the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the 18th place of the Polytechnic of Bari.
Self-driving cars in the 1D class also challenged each other in Varano. Success went to the team UAS Augsburg, before RWTH Aachen, the University of Rome La Sapienza, the University of Pisa and the Federico II University of Naples. Finally, in class 3, reserved for teams that limited themselves to presentations of the project in static events, the UniBO Motorsport Electric team of the University of Bologna triumphed, winning the Design Event in particular, repeating the success achieved in the same test with the team registered in category 1C. The AAM Driverless Racing Team directly from Alexandria in Egypt and the University of Brescia complete the podium, while the University of Trieste finished in fourth place.
With the arrival of autumn, the students are preparing to return to their respective countries and universities, where for many the design of the car for the next season is already underway. Formula SAE Italy will be renewed with the 2022 edition, for which the first three classified in categories 1E, 1C and 1D in 2021 have already guaranteed the right to participate.
Photo: Formula SAE Italy