In 1979, at the University of Houston, SAE Mini-Indy was held, the first competition in which students competed in designing and developing racing vehicles. The European competition took place only in 1998. Today it is called Formula Student, it has become world-wide, and it has student teams with more than 600 universities.
In short, the goal of the competition is that student teams from build their vehicles from scratch that after rigorous examination of the judges, will take part in a race.
Since eight years ago, the University of Belgrade has its Formula Student Team, called Drumska Strela – Road Arrow Belgrade through which over 200 students have participated in 15 world competitions in the past.
It was initially made by students of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, but as the interest in the project grew from year to year, they were joined by colleagues from the Traffic, Electrical, Technological and Metallurgical, Economic, Faculty of Applied Arts, Military Academy, Physical and Faculty of Forestry. Consequently, the approach to the project from year to year got all the multidisciplinary line, and this is, as far as we know, is the only project in Serbia where such a large number of students from different faculties are hired.
For them, this is also one of the rare opportunities to apply their knowledge in a very complex, realistic project while still studying. As some of the team members say, the experience they gain in this process is irreplaceable, from a technical part concerning the design and development of vehicles, to running a team, writing a business plan, estimating financial costs and seeking sponsors.
100 km/h in 4 seconds
In the new season of 2018, the home team led by Miljana Stojanovic, a student of the master study of TMF. Its team this year has 55 students (including 20 new team members) from nine faculties (Mechanical, Technological-Metallurgical, Electrical, Economic, Architectural, Forestry, Mathematics, Military Academy and Faculty of Organizational Sciences), and for the first time a big sponsor, so now it’s called Tenfore Drum Lightning.
Like all other competitors, Belgrade students had a task to build a new vehicle for the new season, and pay special attention to all segments that are worth – cost analysis, business plan development, design, technical accuracy, performance, driving, efficiency, durability …
To date, the phases of design, construction, assembly and presentation of vehicles have passed, and these days are in the testing phase that ends on July 11th, when the competition starts in Italy (a runway near the city of Varano de Melegari) for which the team qualified this year, and then in the Czech Republic (the Autodrom Bridge route) where it will be sent at the end of this month.
For the new car, the seventh in a row, students worked on parts that they could build themselves, and those who needed special machining were supplied with the help of a sponsor.
The 2018 models have speeds of up to 100 km/h in 4 seconds and reach a maximum of 140 kilometers per hour. This is the fastest vehicle so far, with the accent not at the speed it achieves, but at managing and accelerating.
For the third consecutive year, the team is also developing the concept of an electric vehicle that they hope will be able to realize in practice in the coming seasons.