Green Team Twente can't wait to race again

| Stan Waning

After almost two full years without a real race, Green Team Twente is eagerly looking forward to the summer. Then the students hope to finally step on the gas pedal of their race car, in both the Netherlands and France. Team manager Christina Keysers is hopeful for the green light.

Two years ago, Green Team Twente radically changed course. After years of riding as efficiently as possible in the Shell Eco Marathon, the team was looking for a new challenge. That became the Formula Student competition. Driving efficiently for as long as possible was exchanged for speed, acceleration and agility. The team also built a completely new car.

A larger team

The 2022/2023 team kicked off last academic year with a new car, but it didn't come to racing then. If it's up to Christina Keysers, the current team manager, that will change next summer. Then there are two race dates circled in red in the calendar. 'We started in September with the current team of 31 members. A bigger team than in previous years, because we need extra strength and knowledge. The new course brings new challenges and we can use everyone to help with that,' says Keysers.

The Formula Student competition – extremely popular, especially in Germany – requires teams to build a new car every year. That is exactly what Green Team Twente is doing this period. The largest parts have been ordered, the new chassis arrived this week and that brings the students to the testing and building phase. 'Soon we will put everything in the car and that is always exciting. Our hydrogen system works on the test table, but now it's up to us to do the same in the car. The car presentation will follow at the end of May', Keysers looks ahead.

The inspection

In the summer, after two years without a race, the team hopes to be back at the start. That is not yet entirely certain. Keysers explains how this is possible: 'We are the only car in the entire competition that runs on hydrogen. Because of this unique position, all the rules do not apply to us, so we cannot comply. Fortunately, the organisers of the races in the summer are thinking along with us, so we hope that we will pass the inspection.'

The fact that there had been no real competition element for the Green Team for a long time did not make for a duller period than usual, according to Keysers. 'On the contrary, by being the first racing team to opt for hydrogen, we hope to inspire other teams. In addition, we are present at many events to get our message across and compete at races on other criteria, such as presenting a good business plan and showing design choices. It's not just about being the fastest.'

For the team members, the focus in the short term is on making the car 'race-ready'. In the long term, the team wants to make gains in the hydroelectric field and move from hybrid to full hydrogen. The car also has to lose weight, because at about six hundred kilos, the vehicle is on the heavy side, to say the least. 'Because this is our first real hydrogen-powered race car, we are on the heavy side with all the parts. We want to get the car running first, then we're going to gain weight.'

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