Posted Tuesday 25 July 2023
Kingston University's Formula Student team has taken on teams from universities across the globe at the world famous Silverstone circuit.
The annual Formula Student contest pits teams of students against each other to see who has produced the best car. This year the event, which ran from Wednesday 19 to Sunday 23 July, was highly competitive with more than 100 teams from across the UK and the world taking part.
Senior engineering lecturer and academic lead for Formula Student Patrick Sheen said the team had done a fantastic job in designing and building this year's car and learned a lot from their experience from the competition.
"The team fought valiantly to try to get the car through scrutineering but struggled with the brake test in the end," he said. "The importance of servicing old parts and bringing the rule book to the forefront of our design process has clearly been highlighted – despite this, we did take away the Michael Royce award and an experience that will mold the future of the team's careers."
The team placed 53rd overall this year against some tough international competition.
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.
Team leader Archie Perett, a third-year automotive engineering student who was one of the drivers at the Silverstone event, believes the team can take lessons from this year's competition. His 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 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 to qualify to take part in racing.
The team will now take a break over the summer before the preparations for next year's competition start all over again in September.