Lancaster University

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Students in the driving seat

07/24/2006 17:06:31

Lancaster Formula Student team
Lancaster Formula Student team

A team of engineering students from Lancaster University are gearing up for the International Formula Student racing car competition in Germany.

The 4th year MEng students have spent all year designing and building their own racing car which can do speeds of up to 100mph.

Student Jamie Heaton said: “It’s a matter of pride to take part in the race and to see the car working in the actual event.We’ll get to see the fruits of our labours after working hard for so long and that is the ultimate reward.”

The Formula Student competition is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Each year a team of engineering students conceive, design, produce and develop a single seater racing car from scratch before competing against teams from all over the world.The team assume they are a manufacturer developing a prototype vehicle targeted at the non-professional weekend racer.They split up into smaller groups to look at areas like brakes, transmission, electronics and suspension, while also working to raise enough sponsorship from local businesses.

Team member Simon Mounsey said: “It’s hands-on design and build experience and this is how we’re required to work in industry so it’s a great project.”

The team all take turns to drive the racing car, which they modelled on computer to see how it would perform in the real world.
The car has been changed significantly from last year’s design.

Team member Jonathan Jackson said: “We’ve made a few changes on last year’s car – we’ve got a dual exhaust, we’ve completely changed the chassis and we’ve got bigger wheels which are easier to maintain.”

Formula Student is held at the world-famous Formula One Hockenheim race track in Germany in August.The competition is not won solely by the team with the fastest car, but rather by the team with the best overall construction, performance and financial and sales planning.