Posted Wednesday 19 July 2023
Kingston University engineering students have unveiled their new custom-built race car at a Town House launch event ahead of this year's Formula Student competition at the world-famous Silverstone race circuit.
The annual contest pits teams of students from across the globe against each other to see who has produced the best car. This year the event, which runs from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 July, promises to be incredibly competitive with more than 100 teams from across the UK and the world taking part.
Student racing teams are set the challenge of designing, building and running a single seat race car and Kingston's team has been supported by academics and technicians from the School of Engineering.
A launch event at the University's flagship Town House building was attended by a number of staff, students, key sponsors and guests including the Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Richard Thorpe and Deputy Mayoress, Councillor Lynn Henderson.
The competition is split into two elements with the static events looking at the car's design and the team's business plan followed by the dynamic events which culminates with an endurance race on the final day.
After a stellar performance in the 2021 competition where Kingston racing finished 7th overall the team suffered a setback in the 2022 competition. Team leader Archie Perett, a third-year automotive engineering student who will be one of the drivers at the Silverstone event, believes the team can succeed in this year's competition.
"The expectations are that we finish all the dynamic events and improve our performance in the static ones as well," he said. "It's such an exciting event to be a part of, and while there's a lot of pressure that goes with it, to get to spend the entire weekend at such a famous circuit means it's definitely worth it."
Archie's goal is to become a design engineer for a motorsport team, having already completed a year in industry at Rolls Royce and gained valuable skills during his studies.
The design process for the Formula Student cars starts in September and goes right up to the launch event in July. The team is only allowed to use a certain percentage of the previous year's car, so the students involved have to constantly think of new ideas and innovations, working within set regulations and to a budget. They also have to attract sponsors in order to fund the building of the car and this year they include parts manufacturers GetItMade, Kulite and Bamd Composites as well as new additions FormBend, ANSYS and EasyComposites.
The competition itself pushes student teams to the limit through a gruelling 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 to qualify to take part in racing.
The University's Formula Student team had done a fantastic job in designing and building this year's car and were ready to take on all comers at Silverstone, senior engineering lecturer and academic lead for Kingston Racing Patrick Sheen said.
"The launch event was brilliant, the students put in such a huge amount of work and being able to unveil the car at Town House for a second year and show off the results of their efforts was just reward for the time they have all put in to it," he said. "We're delighted with the car and it is looking and sounding great. This competition is a fantastic opportunity for the students 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."