Years of dreaming, months of thorough preparation and 4 days of execution. This years’ Alpe Adria event has pushed the limits and quadrupled compared to 2019. From 26th until 29th August, the city of Novi Marof became home to more than 800 team members from 35 teams coming from 14 different countries. All of them with the same passion and goal – to exhibit the cars they have been working on so hard, drive them on the magnificent St Rauš karting track and, of course, to have fun and socialize with other people who share their dreams.
The event itself lasted for 4 days but it kicked off with the opening ceremony held in the meeting tent on 25th of August in the evening. The teams were gathered inside, announced one by one and welcomed by the main organizer who also, rather briefly, presented the Alpe Adria project to everyone and hinted what could be expected in the following years. As the opening ceremony ended, the teams went to their camping site and the preparation for the first official day could begin.
The first day started with the team leaders briefing at the meeting tent. It was reserved for the Mechanical and Electrical Scrutineering of the cars in the pit area (the Technical tent), Driver egress, Tilt test, Noise test for the CV class and Rain test for the EV class. Ten vehicles have successfully passed the complete technical inspection on the first day.
On the other end of the track site, the sponsors set up their tents and started with the exhibition of their products and/or services. In addition to that, the majority of the judges, including the favourite judge of Alpe Adria, arrived on Thursday and immediately went to the track to get acquainted with each other and the procedures regarding the grading of the teams and their cars.
In the evening, track preparation for the dynamic events – Skidpad and Acceleration began, while a separate area of the track was reserved for the Brake test and Practice and Engine area. Approaching 9 pm, the weather started deteriorating quickly with strong wind and heavy rain bringing chaos upon the track and also the camping site. Apparently, „Nevera“ is not bound to occur only on the seaside!
Friday saw the teams bringing their cars to the track for the obligatory Brake test after which they were allowed to approach the Acceleration and Skidpad disciplines. The day started with drivers briefing in the Meeting tent where drivers were introduced with the disciplines layout and the rules of behaviour on the track. Mechanical and Electrical Scrutineering, as well as Tilt test, Noise test, Rain test and Driver egress continued; 8 more teams completed the necessary technical inspections and were allowed to go on the track. Apart from the dynamic events beginning, also the static events (Engineering Design, Cost and Manufacturing, Business Plan Presentation) started to take place in the afternoon. Engineering Design and Cost and Manufacturing events were held at the pit area, while the Business Plan Presentation was held at the Cultural Centre Ivan Rabuzin.
Speaking of weather, after a sunny morning, light rain started to fall after the lunch break making the conditions on the track tricky as it got more and more slippery.
Engineering Design Event
In this discipline, the teams were required to show models, roll-ups, simulations and documents in which they explained the technical solutions on their car in detail and the reasoning behind it. The jury of judges then evaluated the cars and asked some specific questions to which the students gave answers. This was done in the pit area and after all teams were evaluated, the top 3 CV and top 4 EV teams (top 4 because of only 1 difference between the 3rd and 4th placed team) progressed to the Engineering Design Event Finals held on the following day. CV teams that went to the finals were #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart, #30 CTU CarTech and #158 UPBracing Team. The finalists of the EV category were #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, TU Graz Racing Team, TU Wien Racing and #E94 E.Stall Esslingen.
Cost and Manufacturing Event
This discipline requires the teams to prove the economic viability of their product by providing a comprehensive cost report to the judging panel. Like the Engineering Design, it was also held in the pit area and the winner of that event was declared the following day, but without separate finals.
In the evening, the feedback of this event was given to all of the CVs, while the feedback for the EVs was given the next morning. Results for the CV class were the following: 1st place went to the #33 PRz Racing Team from Rzeszow, runner-up was the #35 Road Arrow team from Belgrade and the 3rd place went to #12 Infinity Racing from Kempten. In the EV class, the victory belonged to the #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, 2nd place went to #E54 FSB Zagreb and the 3rd placed team was #E53 TU Graz.
Business Plan Presentation Event
In this discipline, presentation skills are rewarded because teams are required to make a 10 minute presentation of their project to the panel of judges representing a fictitious company. Students have to demonstrate how their design fulfills the desires of their target group and they must elaborate on how their car can be successfully marketed. Like the previous static disciplines, this one was also held in the pit area where 3 teams from each category of cars were sent to the finals of the Business Plan Presentation held the following day. CV finalists were #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart, #360 Weingarten from Ravensburg and #33 PRz Racing Team from Rzeszow. The finalists of the EV class were #E41 TU Wien, #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart and #E67 eForce FEE Prague.
In the Acceleration Event, the vehicle’s acceleration is measured over a distance of 75 meters. The time necessary to cover that length is measured and the team which did it in the least time won. Each team has 4 runs (2 runs per driver).
In the CV class, the winners of the Acceleration Event were the #30 CTU CarTech team from Prague with the time of 3.517 seconds, followed by #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart (3.746 s) and #33 PRz Racing Team from Rzeszow (3.871 s).
In the EV class, the fastest accelerating car was car #E26 of the GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, completing the 75 meters in 3.124 seconds. The runner-ups were #E41 TU Wien Racing (3.462) and the third fastest EV in the acceleration discipline was the #E45 BRS Motorsport from the University of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg (3.486 s).
The Skidpad discipline is the one that tests the cars lateral acceleration, handling and grip. The layout is in the figure of number 8 in which the cars have to enter the layout, do 2 turns to the right and 2 turns to the left. Again, as in the acceleration discipline, each team has 4 runs (2 per driver).
Once again, the winners of this discipline for CVs were the #30 CTU CarTech team (4.970 s), followed by #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart (5.023 s), while the 3rd fastest team in the Skidpad was #12 Infinity Racing from Kempten (5.335 s).
The EV class, the fastest team was #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart (4.619 s), followed closely by the home team #E54 FSB Zagreb and their first ever electric car (4.977 s) and the third placed #E41 TU Wien (5.076 s).
The third day also started with the drivers briefing at the meeting tent. They were acquainted with the dynamic discipline held that day – Autocross. They were given the guidelines on how to behave on the track and were explained the layout for the discipline. Soon after that, at the meeting tent, the EV teams were given feedback about the Cost and Manufacturing Event from the previous day. Another 4 teams have successfully passed all the technical inspection required, meaning that in total 22 out of 34 teams were allowed to hit the track.
The majority of the teams decided to complete the Autocross Event as early as possible to exploit the benefits of a dry track. As the lunch break was approaching, heavy rain started to fall which made the conditions unsafe to drive and the session had to be red-flagged. As the rain calmed down, the conditions got better and some teams opted to go out on the track while it was damp.
Despite varying weather, it was very encouraging to see that all the activity on track and sponsors’ showcases managed to attract a great number of spectators interested to see the action up close.
When the Autocross Event finished, the teams were grouped on the track to take a panoramic photo. A very special guest also came to take part in that photo, the person whose name this event carries – Mate Rimac, the founder of Rimac Automobili.
The day ended with an appreciation party for the sponsors of the event, held at the Cultural Centre Ivan Rabuzin at the city of Novi Marof.
In this discipline, the cars navigate through a 1000 m long track boasting curves, chicanes and straights. The shorter the time needed to complete the course, the better the car’s handling, acceleration/braking characteristics and overall dynamic abilities. Precision driving is also a key factor because knocking over cones results in a time penalty. All teams had the right to do two runs with each driver. Thankfully, there were no incidents apart from a couple of knocked cones which is a testimony to the drivers’ skills and concentration. The Autocross discipline finished at 18:30 and the results were these: in the CV category, the fastest car was #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart with the best time of 50.243 s, very closely followed by #30 CTU CarTech Prague (50.490 s). The third fastest CV was #158 UPB Racing Team from Paderborn. In the EV class, the victory belonged to #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart (49.183 s), followed by #E41 TU Wien Racing (54.385 s) and #E69 Superior engineering team from Ljubljana (54.736).
The final day of the Rimac FS Alpe Adria was reserved for the main event – the Endurance Race. Here, the teams are required to complete 22 km on the same track layout as it was for the Autocross discipline, with driver change being done after 11 km. Before hitting the track, mandatory drivers’ briefing was done at the meeting tent. Although the weather was very changeable since the morning and it looked like it could start raining any second, only light rain was falling meaning that the track conditions were declared as damp. Out of 22 teams, 7 CVs and 6 EVs managed to reach the chequered flag in this demanding discipline.
The last 3 teams to go out on the track were the 3 teams that were the fastest in Autocross Event the day before: #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart and #30 CTU CarTech Prague. It was a privilege to watch the 3 fastest teams of the event battle it out on track in the finals as all of the drivers gave their maximum. Unfortunately, #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart had some mechanical issues approaching the middle of the race so only #E26 and #30 remained in the race until the end. Post-race technical inspection yielded another surprise – the car #30 of CTU CarTech Prague was disqualified, meaning that the victory of the endurance race for CVs belonged to #158 UPBracing Team from Paderborn. That was a very special moment as Rimac FS Alpe Adria 2021 was the very last event for the UPBracing Team combustion vehicle and they concluded it in style. Even the drivers paid tribute to their last combustion car by wearing the overalls that were worn in the very first competition for their team’s combustion car back in 2007. Emotions were so strong and the drivers could barely hold up the tears in their eyes as all of their hard work and effort had finally paid off.
In the CV class, the podium was completed by #33 PRz Racing from Rzeszow and #111 BlueStreamline from Brasov. The EV victory belonged to #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, followed by #E67 eForce FEE Prague and #E69 Superior engineering Ljubljana.
After all disciplines were completed and all points were added up, the overall standings of the Rimac FS Alpe Adria 2021 Event looked like this:
CV class – 1. #158 UPBracing Team from Paderborn, 2. #33 PRz Racing Team from Rzeszow, 3. #229 Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
EV class – 1. #E26 GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart, 2. #E67 eForce FEE Prague Formula, 3. #E69 Superior engineering Ljubljana
No matter what their best result was, each team that arrived at Novi Marof should be proud of their accomplishments and keep their head high. Events like FS Alpe Adria serve as a gathering point for talented students and renowned experts from the industry so they could exchange knowledge and experience, while having unmatched levels of fun in the process. Thank you to all the teams that decided to take part in this event and hopefully next year they will return in an even bigger number!
Appreciating those who made it all possible
At the end of this Event Recap, the whole FSAA association would like to express their gratitude to the people who helped this event happen, one way or another.
Thank you to all of the sponsors who saw the potential in this project and backed us through either financial, logistical or know-how support.
A very special thank you goes to our volunteers who have worked tirelessly during the whole event, even sometimes exceeding the description of their work. Without them, execution of such a project would be impossible.
Thank you to all of the team members and judges for acknowledging Rimac FS Alpe Adria 2021 as a serious event with an ambition to grow even further!
Thank you all for your passion and hard work. This year’s event has just finished, but our eyes are already on making the next one even better!