A leading car manufacturer is helping to steer the next generation of motorsport engineers on the fast track to success. Students on Kingstonâ€™s MSc in Motorsport Vehicle Dynamics, which is being delivered in conjunction with Lotus, have visited the companyâ€™s top-of-the-range testing facilities in Norfolk to be assessed for race car preparation and driver training modules.
As part of the programme, a team of vehicle dynamics experts from Lotus has helped the mechanically-minded students get to grips with the two course components. The race car preparation module has enhanced their understanding of techniques used to set up vehicle chassis systems, while they have mastered manoeuvres such as slalom, braking and cornering during driver training tutorials. The 12 students have been put through their paces behind the wheel of the Universityâ€™s Lotus Exige.
Launched last September, the programme is one of only three postgraduate motorsport courses currently offered in the United Kingdom. Course director Paul Brandon said it was aimed at students who already had a mechanical or automotive engineering degree rather than those who wanted to become drivers. â€œWe arenâ€™t trying to find the next Michael Schumacher, but we do want to teach the students to ask the right questions of trained drivers during testing,â€ Mr Brandon said. â€œWe are confident our graduates will have the necessary knowledge and experience that might one day see them working in the Formula One arena.â€
The programme has also received backing from other big names within the industry. Senior figures from companies including BAR, Renault F1, Williams and Nicholson McLaren have all delivered lectures.