The University of Bath’s Formula Student team, Team Bath Racing, has just won the Formula Student Czech Republic competition, and in doing so become the first British team ever to win a Formula Student event.

The 2016 team (TBR16) made history coming out overall winners ahead of the 34 other combustion and electric teams competing in the Czech Republic event.

Team Bath Racing, which is made up of 26 final year undergraduate student engineers from the University of Bath, compete annually at the Formula Student (FS) competition which is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). It challenges student engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year.

The Formula Student competitions scrutinise a variety of aspects of each team’s racing car, ranging from manufacturing cost and vehicle design, to on-track performance metrics such as vehicle acceleration and fuel efficiency, and ultimately race pace.

This year, Bath competed at the UK, Hungary, and Czech Republic events.

Strong outing at Silverstone

At the UK event, TBR16 equalled their predecessors’ (TBR15) success, achieving an impressive fourth place. Competing against 113 other teams in the Class 1 event, this fourth place result ensured Bath maintained its position as the top UK team.

The team also made it through to the final of the prestigious Design event which marks the engineering prowess of the team who entered.

Hungary heroics

The ‘FS East’ event took place in Györ and the Bath team recorded a solid fifth place overall out of 29 combustion and electric teams, having overcome a number of challenges during the event.

The team came an impressive first in the Business test and second in both the Design and Cost tests. On the track, a leaking radiator had the potential to damage the team’s chances of recording a good time. However, despite deciding to run the car on just one radiator and reduced engine power, the car still ran at a good pace and successfully finished the endurance race.

Czech Republic winners

In the Czech Republic competition, the Bath students performed exceedingly well in a number of the tests including Cost (1st), Fuel efficiency (1st), Design (2nd), Business Pitch (2nd), Sprint and Endurance (2nd), Acceleration (7th) and Skid Pan (10th).

This set of results meant for the first time ever the Bath team had won the Combustion Class, with an impressive score of 889 points out of 1000 and more importantly, won the event outright with the top electric car more than 80 points behind them.

These results mean Team Bath Racing is now placed 6th in world in the latest Formula Student rankings, topping last year’s success which had previously been the highest achieving season to date. Furthermore, in addition to a first ever overall this ranking secures their position as the UK’s top team for a third consecutive year.

Commenting on the team’s success, Team Bath Racing Project Manager Noel Moorhouse said: “I am delighted we have made history in becoming the first British team to win a Formula Student event. This has been a highly successful season and a whole team effort.

“It’s been two weeks, eight countries, 2,500 miles, seven trophies, €1100 in prize money, and, at last, our first outright win. This achievement is evidence of the continued and increasing success of Team Bath Racing and highlights our retained position as the top UK Formula Student team.”

'A fantastic achievement'

Academic lead and Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Kevin Robinson added: “Team Bath Racing has been punching above its weight for a long time in these competitions, and been threatening to do something like this for the last few years.

“This fantastic achievement is the result of 18 months of hard work by a lot of very talented young engineers, and we are extremely proud of them all. It has been an ambition for many years to become the first British team to win a Formula Student event outright, and achieving that has been a really special experience.”