This last winter, the student association EUROAVIA Terrassa organized a 5-day trip with the intention of exploring the world of motorsports, and the place chosen to do so was one of the most famous Italian cities in this field, Bologna.
The first day gave us the opportunity to get to know each other while visiting the city centre of Bologna. There were a lot of new faces due to the great success of the activity so it was important to do some team building activities right at the beginning of the trip.
The next day we woke up early to catch a train heading to Forlì, where the Aerospace faculty of the Università di Bologna is located. It is worth mentioning its incredible facilities where many interesting projects take place, such as the virtual reality lab and or the construction of a mini satellite. They also had a combustion engine and a composite materials laboratory. Once we had finished the visit, since we were near Imola, one of the most known Italian towns in the world of Formula 1 and motorsport in general, we were able to take a walk around the surroundings of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. In the racetrack, we visited the tribute to Ayrton Senna, one of the best ever drivers in the history of Formula 1, who tragically lost his life in the very same circuit.
We woke up even earlier the third day to meet the tight schedule of the most appointed day of the whole trip. One of the most awaited visits was the one to the Dallara factory in Parma. This company designs and builds race cars chassis for some world-known championships such as Formula 2, Formula 3, Indycar, Formula E and many others. In the first part of the visit we saw in first person how they design and build the race car components that later are used by many motorsport teams. One of the main attractions was their simulator, used by the own company to test new designs, and even by some other professional organizations like the Haas Formula 1 team to train and study the driving of their drivers. The second part was less technic and more visual as they guide us through their museum, where we were able to see some cars which are part of Italian automotive history and have won in many worldwide prestigious competitions. After lunch, to end a day dedicated to race cars, we headed to Maranello, where the Ferrari headquarters are located. There we visited the Ferrari Museum and the Pista di Fiorano, their own test track. The great importance of this manufacturer was reflected in their huge automobile collection, both street cars and race cars, where we needed more than two hours to complete the visit.
The fourth day, we gave ourselves the luxury of resting a bit as the intensity of the past days tired us a lot. At noon, we met again with some of our colleagues from EUROAVIA Bologna, who joined us to eat lunch by the city. After eating, we caught a bus heading to the Ducati factory. As we did in the Dallara factory, we divided the tour in two sections. First, we did a chronological guide through the company’s history with the help of many of their models exposed in the museum, with some incredibly special ones as this company has been active for nearly 100 years. Next, they took us to their factory, where we could see the many components that make their motorbikes unique and the great organizing capacity needed to sustain a big production line, as we were able to take a walk around the factory surrounded by Ducati employees who work in many different components, from assembling the engines to the last quality tests.
To sum up this article we would like to highlight the great opportunity which is being a member of EUROAVIA, as it gives you the chance to live many experiences like this trip, that motivates us as engineering students to keep working dreaming about being part of one of this companies in the near future.