E-Team is the Racing Team carrying the prestigious flag of the University of Pisa to Formula SAE and Formula Student Competitions. Although, not very much known in Italy, this championship gets the participation of more than 400 teams around the world, each competing for its University.
As prescribed by the official rules, E-Team, designs and builds open-wheeled, open-cockpit formula-style cars. The vehicle realized every year, does not only have to participate in speed competitions, it also has to respond to very specific requirements in terms of economic, safety and innovation aspects in addition to a brilliant driving behavior.
E-Team is composed exclusively by University students.
The 2016th team is made up by 70 and counting active members, several supporting members and two faculty members as supervisors and official advisors; moreover, it relies on the knowledge and advice of the alumni and past members, carrying on the tradition of the Team.
The actual configuration of the Team is the result of a constant growth and evolution that had started in 2007, when the project came to life in the occasion of the fourth Formula SAE Italy competition, thanks to the passion and the teamwork of a group of graduate and PhD students under the supervision of Professor Emilio Vitale (Director of Engineering Department at that time) and Prof. Massimo Guiggiani.
Started in 2008, a year after its foundation, the team counted 35 members, mostly from Engineering with one exception in Humanities. There was a strong need for outgrowing the Engineering faculty itself, due to the project’s wide interdisciplinary aspects, with it, requiring technical knowledge as well as ability in economics, marketing and communications management. With this background, the first competition car “ET1” was conceived and designed.
The debut came in 2008, with the Team participated to the Italian event Formula Sae Italy at the Fiorano Circuit in Fiorano Modenese (MO), organized by the Italian Automotive Technical Association (ATA).
The E-Team got the first place among the first year teams, and classified third among the Italian teams in the Endurance event.
Since then, more members joined the group every year, enriching the team and bringing the project to a progressively higher level every year.
In 2009, the team was composed by 43 members from 4 different Faculties: Engineering, Economics, Humanities and Political Sciences; the group was organized in sectors interacting and working proficiently in order to make everything work in the best way, just like an industrial working environment, brilliantly accomplishing its objectives, as in August 2009 the Team participated to its first international competition: Formula Student Germany, held at Hockenheimring (Hockenheim, Germany). In that occasion the group faced the competition against 78 teams from all over the world, and gets the tenth position at the static “Cost Report” event.
In 2009, the Team also competed in the fifth Formula SAE Italy Event, which from that year on, was held at the Riccardo Paletti racetrack in Varano de’ Melegari (PR), from September 4th to September 7th, with a very relevant Technical Commission made up by engineers from the most prestigious Italian car makers, like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Fiat, Maserati and Dallara to name a few. In the event, the ET2ev car from Pisa ranks second among the Italian teams and 12th overall among the 39 participating teams. In the static events of Design and Cost Report, the team was respectively in 9th and 5th position.
2010 was the year of ET3, realized by a team which receives additions also from Foreign Languages and Law departments. Thanks to the results from the previous seasons, the notoriety of E-Team is still growing and gets more and more team members during the seasons. In 2010, too, the racecar from Pisa participates both in the Italian and in the German competitions – held in the same locations as the year before – with excellent outcomes, reaching the top in the Italian event with the first place among Italian participating teams, and getting to the ninth place overall.
In 2011, the partially renewed team takes inspiration from the previous year’s work to perfect the ET4, a brand new car built as an overall improvement of ET3, featuring renewed ergonomics and a lightweight bodywork with maximized efficiency and cooling flow. During the season, the first presentation with a running car is made at the Engineering Faculty in order to recruit new designers, and the team participates in the two events it has been getting acquainted to, namely Formula Student Germany and Formula SAE Italy. The former event, interrupted by a hideous oil leak, gives anyway good results, with the best being the FSG Media Award for a 30 seconds video presenting the event to the world. The latter keeps up with the FSG results until an unexpected engine issue causes the engine to overheat and eventually catch fire on runoff lubrication oil, mid-way through the Endurance event.
In 2012, the team sees a reduction in its members for the very first time, as the management tries to make a big step on the way to an official academic and structural recognition of the project. Not satisfied with the results from the previous years, the designers adopted a best-performance strategy on the design, which is focused on a complete rebuild of the cockpit, to improved ergonomics, keeping the optimal layout and dynamics target from ET4. The ET5 comes out as a similar, with different concept and is extensively tested. The Team participated in the usual events, with good results progress in Formula Student Germany until a hard stop for a very much argued disqualification during the driver change mid way through the Endurance event; in Formula SAE Italy, a great result was obtained for the first time in the Business Plan Presentation, even though the overall score was threatened by another bitter disqualification in the Endurance event, a couple laps from its completion, with a very competitive car which was even getting better one lap after the other.
The 2013th session had started with a hard decision: not getting any tangible result from Academia, and with the officiality of the project in jeopardy, the alternatives were either: keep hoping or close the Team. Fortunately, with the intervention of a second Faculty advisor the progress towards the recognition of the Team members participation in terms of credit and with an official funding from the Departments gets back in route. The decision to save the project has been made quite late in the year, so the only chance remained was to participate in the brand new Formula Student Czech Republic competition in Hradec Kralove. The new ET5-xl car, modified to be compliant with the new rule set, was prepared to unleash its true potential and extensively tested. The competition sees once again an exceptional third place in the Business Plan Presentation, but unfortunately another share of bad luck was around the corner and the car, after having behaved very well on the previous events, is forced to stop after a bad debonding failure of a suspension A-arm.
During the 2014th session the team planned to complete the development of the electric car E2T1 and to improve the ET5-xl to prevent a recurrence of the problem that forced to stop the race in the Czech Republic. The E2T1 project was realized in a year but, due to the lack of necessary funds to pay the entire cost of the car, the team decided to participate only with the project to the competition.
The E-Team has participated both in the class 1 (combustion with ET5-xl) than in the class3 (electric with the E2T1 project) during the Formula SAE Italy competition held in Varano de’Melegari.
The 2015th session began with an increasing in its members. Later it was redesigned the organization dividing members in two areas: technical and management. The team assumed a company structure which soon brought its results. A new car, called Kerub, was designed in few months, but for some reasons, the team could not be able to finish its development. This is the reason why the E-Team participated only to the Formula SAE Italy competition Static Events (class 3). During this event held in Varano de’Melegari on September 2015 the team won the first place in Class 3: first place in Design Event, Business Plan and Cost Event. Three out of three.
This victory brought to the team the incentive to improve and get involved in the future events all over Europe.
During the Season 2016 the Team took part in the Formula SAE Italian Event (22-25 July 2016) achieving some good results: 1st place in the Presentation Event, 2nd in the Cost Event, 12th in the Design Event and 7th in the Acceleration Event (Results Article). Unfortunately Kerub, the car, had a temporary breakdown. The team was not able to race during the Endurance Event. Despite this the E-Team reached the 15th place in the Overall Rankings.
During the Formula Student Hungary Events, held from 18 to 21 July 2016 at the Győr-Gönyű Harbor, the E-Team reached some important results: 1st place in the Business Plan Presentation Event, 12th in the Acceleration Event and 9th in the Overall Static Event Rank (Results Article). By these victories the E-Team confirmed its supremacy at the Business Plan Presentation.
The E-Team is now ready to start the new season!