Half way through Formula E testing and Audi ABT Schaeffler picked up on the strong form they showed yesterday by topping the official afternoon session on day three of Formula E testing last week.
Daniel Abt pipped Mahindra’s Nick Heidfeld by a mere seven-hundredths of a second to the top spot on the way to beating his personal best from yesterday with a 1:30.073. Abt’s time was set late in the afternoon when the track was at its optimum – overnight rain and showers throughout the day making conditions variable at best today. After the 1:05 pit walk, rain began to fall, and made the track very green and slippery.
The big shaker in the field however appears to be Techeetah, which in the hands of Jean-Eric Vergne broke the Donington lap record. The Renault-powered Techeetah could upset the establishment earlier than expected. The team is to use off the shelf motors from rival team e.Dams.
“The new power train has as all excited here, were hear with some new minds, where here to race hard. The new engineering concepts are working well for us” said Techeetah team principle, Mark preston.
The self-driving DevBot car, an AI car, made its first official test runs last week at Donington park. The car, based on a Ligier JS P3 LMP3 tub was found to be doing figure of 8 test runs out back on the private runway at Donington, before it hits the main stage of the proper circuit.
The cars engineering is built and designed by computer and graphics card manufactures Nvidia, with a Nvidia Drive PX2 supercomputer to be used as the cars steering, braking system.
Some of the electronic motors, DC cables and cooling pipes can be seen in the image below. A RoboRace engineer who did not want his name stated said: There is no power train cover due to cooling and possible electrical fires, so we won’t put it on for safety."
The size of the motor is much bigger to those on the FIA Formula E cars, but the DevBot cars runs a bigger ECU, on which the guy has his hands on below, as well as smaller intercoolers.
The car was able to do a full lap under the AI control, with no driver at the helm. Some believe it takes the age old idea of copying where the driver has put the car, so the computer can re-trace it. But this has not been confirmed by RoboRace.
The team has not stated when there will be more official tests open to the public.
[I]Image - Stefan Ruitenberg/eRacing magazine[/I]