“The GP21 is one of Greenpower’s most sophisticated vehicles. The GP17 was already at the same level as the Jaguar-Land Rover vehicle and one of Renishaw’s, two major British companies. The GP21 is already ahead of them”, says the PSEM team leader, Vítor Teixeira. Although it had been on the drawing board, there are many expectations about this new car: “There are no words to describe how we felt when we were presenting the GP21”, he adds.
With a unique structural component, the new model will have a carbon tub – a unique piece in carbon fiber – which gives it a higher stiffness than its predecessors, while reducing the weight of the GP21. “The aerodynamics of our car is one of the most efficient in the entire competition. The GP21 only has 5 drag”, highlights Vítor Teixeira. “We have re-installed a steering wheel that has a linear steering damper. And the transmission is 60% lighter than that of the GP19”, he adds.
According to the Técnico students, this new model “is a kind of rebirth from the ashes”, after a “very difficult” season (2018/2019) when the team was unable to have the model ready in time to compete in the Greenpower Challenge.
This season, in addition to the usual September and October races in the United Kingdom, the team will compete in Spain for the first time.
The team was expecting to compete with GP21 in May, at the Navarra circuit, in Spain, but given all the adversities “it will be difficult, due to social distancing rules, which only allow the presence of five members at the workshop each time”, explains Vítor Teixeira. “We hope that in August we will be able to test and compete with the new car”, he adds.
This seasom, the team focused on the design of the GP21, and also on improving the GP19. “We were lucky because we were able to analyze its components and carry on with the machining process even before quarantine”, says Vítor Teixeira. “The next phase was of slow progress, naturally, as it was marked by an adaptation period. It was a difficult phase from the human point of view because all the members were getting used to a new routine”, recalls the student. The truth is that, even with some delays, all difficulties were overcome.
Vítor Teixeira highlights the commitment of the team “in the midst of adversity, so that the cars could be ready on time, which is why I am really proud of each and every member of PSEM”.
Inspired by previous achievements, Vítor Teixeira says “the next step is to regularly take a place on the podium and achieve victory. We will do everything to win the top spot”, says the team leader.