On our first day in Michigan, we took advantage of the empty lot next to our hotel to practice launching the car, passing Brakes, Sound, and various other last minute checks before the event began the following day. After last year’s grueling experience passing Sound, we wanted to do everything we could to avoid a repeat.
We were extremely lucky to draw an early tech inspection slot and complete our first pass through by 2PM. This year we managed to reduce our post-tech action items by over 50% from last year. We tipped the scales at 379 lbs, a number we are proud of for a car with front, rear, and side wings. This number places us 25lbs lighter than B19, our last full aero car which had a smaller engine and less downforce.
Although the team worked hard to address each tech infraction through the afternoon, we just barely ran out of time to make it to re-tech. The day ended with just one car between us and the front of the line. We were eager to hop back in line the following day.
Thursday was largely a successful day. Following our 8:30 AM Design Presentation, we brought the car straight to the re-tech line where we would have to make one final tweak to the seat belt harness mounting for our infamous 6’2″ driver before finally passing Static Tech. By the early afternoon we were en route to conquer Tilt, Sound, and Brakes tests. We continued our strong momentum passing Tilt and Sound first try. While we only had to attempt Tilt twice last year, Sound was a real killer. Validation at competition of our completely revised exhaust package’s noise was an incredible moment for the team, granting us a colossal gift of time.
The end of our day was bittersweet, as we failed the Brakes test on our first attempt and missed our chance to reattempt by just a handful of cars. However, with an easy solution already implemented, we were confident we would pass the following morning. Over dinner that night, the news broke that we made Design Finals for the 2nd year running. This was an immensely proud moment for all of us as B23 is our first completely post-COVID car.
We started off Friday strong, passing Brakes by 7:45 AM, leaving the rest of the day to practice, attempt all available Dynamic runs, and face Design Finals. Early afternoon rain loomed, complicating an otherwise simple affair. After balancing the car and making it to the practice area to test and make some setup adjustments, we headed off to Autocross. At the time our lap was set, it was fastest by 1.3 seconds. By the time all was said and done, we ended up 2nd place in Autocross out of 84 teams to set a time and 120 teams total present, just 3 tenths of a second from the fastest time set by UT Arlington. As far back as our records go, this is the first Dynamic Event top 3 our team has achieved (except Efficiency), marking the immense progress we have made over the past couple of seasons. View onboard footage of our Autocross run here.
As the wind picked up and the sky darkened, we managed a solid 15th place run in Skidpad out of 84 teams to run the event. By the time we made it to Acceleration, worsening conditions combined with the inherent constraints of our engine package meant the best we could manage was a 4.929 second run, placing us 55th out of 81 teams to set a time. While unideal, this is a substantial improvement over last year’s 21st out of 22.
Although we did make Design Finals last year, we elected to skip them in order to best prepare B22 for Endurance. This year, we were excited to be able to finally attend this prestigious three-hour event. Our Leads and members who presented would likely have to describe Design Finals as fulfilling, grueling, and eye-opening. With plenty of room to improve, our sights are firmly set on being Finalists for a third consecutive year in 2024.
Saturday left only Endurance to be completed. As the second to last car to hit the track as per our Autocross placement, many eyes were on us. Our first stint went smoothly with consistent pace and zero issues. After the driver change, a combination of issues relating to fuel pump voltage, shifting tank pressure, and more couldn’t stop us from setting the 5th fastest Endurance laptime by team. These issues unfortunately culminated in B23 losing power and rolling to a stop ~1500 feet from the finish line on the 10th and final lap. With each lap being 1.4 miles long, we completed approximately 98% of the Endurance distance, a huge step up from last year. We are beyond eager to get back to testing and improve our reliability even further.
Overall, we scored 23rd out of 120 teams at Competition, a huge step forward from last year’s 19th out of 60. By event, we placed 55th in Sales, 55th in Accel, 48th in Endurance, 36th in Cost, 15th in Skidpad, 10th in Design, 5th in Efficiency, and 2nd in Autocross.
Each of us here at Berkeley Formula Racing is grateful to the countless sponsors, friends, and family members who make everything we do possible. We owe our progress and success to you. We cannot thank our community enough for the support year after year. Without a shadow of a doubt, 2024 will be our best effort yet.
Oct 30, 2023 Hello once again Berkeley Formula Racing partners, alumni, members, family, and friends. We have some exciting updates for you! We WON the SoCal Shootout! Contesting against California-based Formula SAE teams, we set Read more…
October 21, 2023 Hello Berkeley Formula Racing partners, alumni, members, family, and friends! We hope this message finds you well. We only have 10 days left to reach our crowdfunding goal of $10,000! We are Read more…
We are thrilled to share our 2nd place result at the SoCal Shootout! On October 15th, 2022, we participated in the SoCal Shootout against several other Formula SAE teams from southern California at Adams Motorsports Park in Read more…