Students from the College of Engineering of Physical Sciences have designed and built the University of Birmingham’s 17th racing car, which will be unveiled on Friday 28 March on campus.

The Formula Student UK (FSUK) is a student engineering competition in which teams from all over the world design, manufacture and race Formula-style racing cars. It is Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, which aims to inspire innovative young engineers. 

Universities from all over the world are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car to compete in static and dynamic events. The competition sees the prototype cars put through a series of tests which showcase performance in different scenarios including acceleration and endurance. In addition to the tests, each team presents a business case to prove their ideas are financially sound and could be made into a sustainable business. 

The car, which is designed and built solely by undergraduate students, is a hybrid between a formula car and a kick car. The body work is built entirely by students in the University laboratory out of carbon fibre. 

In the 2013 competition the Birmingham team finished in the top 10 British teams, and 33rd overall of university teams from around the world. This year has seen a big recruitment of first and second year students and it is hoped that their success will prove a stepping stone for future competitions.

University of Birmingham Racing Team (UBR) member Christopher Findlay said: “The realistic aim for competition this year is to be within the top five of the British teams. This year’s car has a similar overall design to last years but we have significantly redesigned and improved specific components”. 

The car will be unveiled by the Vice-Chancellor Professor David Eastwood at an event in University Square on 28 March. Activities include the UBR simulator that allows visitors to test their driving skills, fundraising activities, live music and refreshments. The simulator is made from a previous UBR team car which has been modified by students. The simulation replicates the driving conditions of a formula student car and has been programmed by a member of the team to represent the track where many FSUK teams test run their cars. Visitors are able to test drive the simulator for £1.00 per go, all funds will go towards the University student formula team. 

Members of UBR will be in University Square from 14:30 – 18:00 to showcase their new car and answer any questions. 

  • Photocall: The launch of the 2014 Race Car will take place on Friday 28 March at 14:30 on campus, 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 please contact Faye Jackson in the University of Birmingham press office on +44 (0)121 414 6029.
  • This year’s car is 1300mm wide, 2400mm long and 1080mm high and made out of steel and carbon fibre. The car weighs approx. 205kg and can do 0-60 in 3.5 seconds.
  • The University of Birmingham Formula Student team relies entirely on sponsorship and donation and has one of the smallest FSUK budgets in the UK. The project costs over £20,000 annually and is entirely funded through sponsorship, from both industry and individuals.
  • The University of Birmingham team has one of the highest male:female ratios out of the British teams with 20 female members out of 100.
  • For further information on the UBR team and project please visit their website