UWE Bristol students gear up for world's largest student motorsport competition

Issue date: 09 July 2014


Students from UWE Bristol are readying themselves to race in Formula Student, an international motorsport competition taking place at Silverstone from 9-13 July.

UWE Spires Racing, comprised of 70 students from multiple disciplines across the University, will be one of the 114 teams from 38 different countries lining up on the grid at the event run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

This is the first year that a team from UWE Bristol is competing with a fully built car in the Class 1 category, after competing in Class 2 for the past two years.

Formula Student challenges students to design, build and race a single seat racing car in one year. The cars can go from 0-60mph in less than three seconds and are judged on their speed, acceleration, handling and endurance in a series of time-trial races, while the teams themselves are tested on their design, costing and business presentation skills.

Duncan Painter, Team Leader from UWE Spires Racing, says, “It has been a fantastic experience so far. We are incredibly excited by the prospect of testing the car at the home of Formula 1 in the UK, against the best student engineering teams from around the world. The UWE Spires Racing team have worked incredibly hard to make sure that the car is ready and will perform to the best of its ability over the series of trails.

“The support and guidance of the tutors at UWE Bristol has been invaluable, and we aim to make the University and our sponsors proud over the course of the four day event.”

Rohitha Weerasinghe, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Design and Mathematics at UWE Bristol, and the link between the team and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, says, “Formula Student provides a great opportunity for students to put what they have learned in their degree into real world practice, due to the way formula student is judged on both the design and engineering of the car as well as the business, marketing and costing side of the project. This year's product is the culmination of hard work and support by the team, the staff and the sponsors.

Jon Hilton, Chairman of Formula Student said, “It's brilliant to see teams like UWE Spires Racing competing in Formula Student 2014 – it shows that the competition remains one of the most important learning experiences for those aiming to combine their studies with exposure to a real world engineering project.

“Formula Student is a global competition and we want to continue to encourage brilliant young engineers from across the globe to improve their practical skills and get ready to play their part in the vibrant worldwide engineering community.”

Dozens of Formula Student alumni have progressed to Formula 1, and hundreds more are now working at the world's largest automotive firms helping to design and engineer the cars of tomorrow.

You can follow the progress of UWE Spires Racing by visiting the team's Facebook and Twitter pages.

To view images of the team in action, please visit the UWE Bristol News Flickr pages.

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