The University of Birmingham’s Formula Student racing team recently hosted the Chinese Formula Student Champions and collaboration partners Hefei University of Technology (HFUT). HFUT were crowned Champions of the Chinese competition in March and were invited to participate in the UK version of Formula Student by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. To add to the challenge faced by HFUT and despite winning in China with a combustion race car, they managed to design and manufacture an electric vehicle, which arrived in Birmingham at the start of July.  Senior Technician and UBRacing Manager, Carl Hingley, HFUT/ UoB PhD student Haichun Ding and FS Faculty Advisor Dr Karl Dearn hosted the team, which involved several trips to Heathrow Airport, some extensive laboratory and testing work and a behemoth logistical effort that resulted in the 25 strong HFUT team being one of the first Chinese teams to compete at Formula Student UK.


HFUT in pit and ready to compete

The HFUT team were also accompanied by a delegation from the Academic Staff from HFUT including Professor D S Zhang (Head of HFUT’s School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering), Professor J R Huang (Dean of the School of Innovation) and Vice-Professor W H Jiang (Formula Student Facility Adviser). During the visit HFUT also visited the School of Mechanical Engineering and had a tour of the facilities including the research laboratories. The Chinese delegations were also able to meet with representatives from the School and were able to further discussions on formalising an agreement between the two universities.    


HFUT on the way to scrutineering

It was a successful competition all round with UBRacing completing all dynamic events and finishing 19th overall, their highest placing in several years. HFUT, showed great character and despite a difficult start to the competition with some car problems, the team pulled together and subsequently had a highly successful visit to the UK finishing in a very respectable 27th  place out of 125 teams.  HFUT received an honourable mention for endeavour during the awards ceremony at the end of the competition. Students in both teams were also able to engage in cultural exchanges at the end of the competition with the Chinese Rice Wine proving particularly challenging for some members of UBRacing.  


Embarcing cultural exchnage between UBRacing and HFUT

Dr Karl Dearn said ‘We have once again demonstrated that UBRacing are an international team, having further developed our collaborative relationship with Hefei University of Technology. HFUT have fielded an excellent car with quality engineering and skilled drivers. I also hope that we have been able to, in part, return the great hospitality shown to us during our visit to HFUT last year. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with HFUT with more visits and exchanges taking place in the near future.

Professor D S Zhang said ‘We are very grateful for the welcome we have received from the School of Mechanical Engineering and in particular the efforts of Carl, Karl and the UBRacing team have exerted in welcoming our team to the UK. We very much look forward to further developing our relationship and particularly to Birmingham’s car competing at the Chinese Formula Student Competition’. The academic delegation and HFUT team went on to finish their visit with a 2 day tour of London.


Relaxing ofter the competition