Student racing team in pole position for Silverstone

A team of mechanical engineering students from the University of Bath is heading for Silverstone this week for the annual international Formula Student competition (Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 July).
The team is in pole position among the 30 other UK teams, after ranking as the best British team in the past three years. 

They will be up against 56 international teams and hope to beat last year’s fourth place in the global competition.

The competition is organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and has proved a stepping stone for talented young engineers into the competitive world of motorsport.

Ross Brawn, founder of Brawn GP Formula One Team, is patron of the event.

The University’s team of 17 final-year students has spent 18 months designing and building the vehicle from scratch, to create a single-seater car that can accelerate from 0-60mph in three seconds.

Bath Formula Student Team 2010

Bath Formula Student Team 2010

Some of the project is incorporated into the students’ degree course but the team puts in countless hours of extra work on the car as well as organising the business side of the project, dealing with suppliers, marketing and sponsorship.

Tanmay Dube, student Team Manager, said: “There’s a fair bit of pressure on us to perform but we’ve got a good car. We’re working 12 to 14 hours a day on it to get it all done and make sure we’re as prepared as possible.

“We’re in a better position this year as we’ve had more time for testing, so we just have to hope it all goes well at Silverstone.

“It’s been a huge learning experience, from the technical side to project management, people skills and sponsorship. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but very enjoyable.”

Dr Kevin Robinson, lecturer in the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and academic supervisor to the Formula Student team said: “Getting involved in the competition is no easy option as it demands a huge commitment, but it motivates the students like nothing else I have seen.

“It's extremely satisfying to see them mature into highly capable, confident engineers. It gives them vital industry experience and puts them ahead of the crowd as graduate engineers.”

The team has recently welcomed Santander as a new supporter, alongside long-term sponsor Castrol. 

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