Re-designed Race Car Ready to Rumble

Posted on Monday 23rd June 2008

Students from the School of Engineering have designed and built the University of Birmingham’s 11th racing car, which will be unveiled by Chris Aylett, CEO of the Motorsport Industry Association, on Friday 27th June, 1.15pm at Chancellor’s Court.

The race car is produced as part of a project by students studying various degree courses in Engineering.  They are asked to assume that a manufacturer has commissioned them to produce a prototype car that will be evaluated and put into full production. 

The car must have high performance acceleration, braking and handling characteristics while other factors such as aesthetics, driver comfort, safety and reliability must also be taken into account.

After 9 months of hard work on the part of 25 mechanical and electrical engineering students, this year’s design aim was to create a car that is reliable, fast, safe and with a high standard of bodywork.

The car has a fully redesigned independent double wishbone suspension, a front anti-roll bar, lightweight magnesium wheels, a tubular steel chassis, full data logging including g-forces and GPS positioning, and custom designed and developed tyres in collaboration with Dunlop Motorsport.

David Evans, Team Leader, says: ‘We are extremely happy that we have built a car which has not only been built to a very high standard of quality, but we are confident that the car will be fast and reliable. We will be proving this at Formula Student competitions at Silverstone in July and Hockenheim in August against university teams from across the world. We are also proud to be the only team representing the West Midlands in Germany, and will be amongst 77 other teams, 7 of which are from the UK’

‘ We are also pleased to be receiving driver training from Dean Smith, driver for Renault, prior to competing’.

Birmingham graduates who have taken part in this project have gone on to work for Ford, Jaguar, Red Bull Racing F1, Williams F1, Maclaren F1 and Rolls Royce.  Professor David Hukins, Head of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, says, ‘This is an excellent opportunity for students who want to follow a career in engineering.  Not only do they benefit from the expertise Birmingham has to offer in the field of automotive engineering, but in learning how to design and build a race car, they are acquiring many other skills such as budgeting, team working, decision making and management issues that are so vital to the modern world.  These experiences are what make Birmingham’s engineering students appealing to employers.’

Ends

Notes to Editors

Photocall: The launch of the 2008 Race Car will take place on Friday 27  June at 1.15pm, Chancellor’s Court, University of Birmingham, when there will be an opportunity to photograph the car and the team.  Please call the press office for accreditation. 

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.