Thursday 20 February 2014

Northamptonshire's Student Racing Team

For the first time ever, Northamptonshire has its very own Formula Student Racing Team who will be competing against students from around the world at Silverstone this year. The teams, featuring 3,000 students from over 30 countries, will be descending on the world famous racetrack on 9 July for five days of testing and racing.

Northamptonshire’s Formula Student Racing Team is made up of students from the University of Northampton’s Department of Engineering and Technology, who have created a partnership with Silverstone UTC to promote motorsports within the county. The group features a mixture of all ages and specialisms, and is unique in the competition as it is the first team to feature secondary school pupils working alongside University students for a common goal.

The programme is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and has the backing of industry and high profile engineering companies across Europe. The teams are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car in order to compete in static and dynamic events, which demonstrate their understanding of the vehicle and test its performance. The competition gives students real-world engineering experience as they conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team, and poll position at Silverstone is set to be hotly contested!

“Experience in teamwork, time and project management combined with development, construction and economic aspects of automotive engineering greatly improve the skills of an engineer or technician in the making,” explained Seyed Mirhadizadeh, Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton. “Formula Student also brings students closer to the business community, and potential sponsors have the opportunity to become acquainted with a new generation of enthusiastic technicians and engineers.”

Team Principal Glen Adams, who is a 3rd year student at the University and also employed by Cummins Engines as a Quality Engineer, explained the team’s progress so far: “Having been working and competing in motorsports for over 16 years I am proud to say the team is on track with a car that is as close to the rule book as possible. All members of the team have learned new skills such as project management and designing automotive systems, which is useful for gaining employment in the Midlands where engine and vehicle building currently is booming. It’s also nice to work with Silverstone UTC, giving back to the next generation of engineers and inspiring them to push the limits of innovation on certain areas of the car. It is all very exciting and we look forward to turning the engine over and seeing our efforts in action.”

Neil Patterson, Principal of Silverstone UTC commented: “We’re proud to be working with the University of Northampton in Formula Student this year as we are the first secondary level school to ever to do so.”

The team have secured sponsorship from companies including Santander, KB Railcare, BINDT and ThyssenKrupp, and are currently in talks with Mahle and Cummins Engines.

BBC Radio Northampton will be keeping listeners updated with the team’s progress in the run-up to July’s event. You can follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FSNRacing and Facebook. For further information, visit: www.utc-silverstone.co.uk , www.formulastudent.com and www.northampton.ac.uk

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