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Kingston University's racing team step up preparations for this year's Formula Student competition at Silverstone

Posted Tuesday 7 February 2023

 Kingston University's racing team step up preparations for this year's Formula Student competition at Silverstone  The Kingston University Formula Student promo

Kingston University's Formula Student team, Kingston Racing, is gearing up for another exciting year on the road to competing at the home of British motorsport.

Formula Student is an international competition held every year at the world-famous Silverstone racetrack, when more than 100 teams of students from across the globe race cars they have designed and constructed around the iconic circuit.

Around 60 students on engineering pathways as well as team members from business and design courses, are currently working on the design of the car for this year's event, which will be held in July.  Sponsorships make up a large part of the funding for the Kingston team, with continued backers this year including parts manufacturers GetItMade, Kulite and Bamd Composites as well as new additions FormBend, ANSYS and EasyComposites.

With the race car effectively needing to be built from scratch for the annual competition, the team has set a target of cutting the car's weight down by 15 per cent, drawing on learnings from the previous year's design. Team leader Archie Perrett, a third year automotive engineering student who will be one of the driver's at the Silverstone event, believes time management will also be key to the team's success. "Working smartly is going to be so important if we are going to do well this year and improve on the 2022 event," he said. "I've really enjoyed the challenge of leading and motivating the team. We're really making good progress this year and I'm confident we can achieve a good finish in the competition."

The competition itself pushes student teams to the limit through a grueling schedule across five days that can often see the team working 15-hour days. The race cars need to pass scrutineering from the judges to make sure they comply with all the regulations as well as to qualify to take part in racing.

Another aim for the team this year is to move towards more electric components in order to make the car more sustainable, according to second year mechanical engineering student Denise Ekugwum, the team's operations manager, who is responsible for managing the logistics and budget of Kingston Racing. "I'm learning a lot of new skills outside my course as a part of the team - everything from technical skills to leadership qualities," she said. "There is a great atmosphere in the team and it's been really good to see more female students signing up to take part this year. We have social events every month which are great for team building alongside the work we are doing on the car itself."

Team Leader Archie's goal is to become a design engineer for a motorsport team, having already completed a year in industry at Rolls Royce. Denise is currently applying to roles for her year in industry and hopes to pursue a career in engineering when she graduates.

The team is now focused on getting the car ready for testing at the end of April ahead of the final event in July, academic lead Patrick Sheen, a senior mechanical engineering lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment said. "The students been making great progress this year and we are confident the car will be ready to test in the Spring," he said. "Formula Student is a fantastic opportunity to gain a lot of hands-on experience that will have huge benefits when they move into graduate roles, allowing them to build on the skills they are learning through their courses." 


Categories: On campus, Students

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