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News Students gear up for international competition at Silverstone

Staffs students take part in the the Formula Student competition this month

Members of the Formula Student team working on the car
Image: Members of the Formula Student team working on the car

Getting involved in Formula Student is a massive benefit and helps you to hone your practical and academic skills. I think if you have it on your CV then automotive companies see it as a major positive.

Dan Stone, Project Leader

Student engineers who have designed and built a racing car from scratch are aiming to impress in an international competition at Silverstone this month.

Formula Student is the world’s largest student engineering design competition and will see more than 100 university teams from around the globe compete at the infamous racetrack from 17-21 July.

A team of nine students have been building a single seater race car in Staffordshire University’s specialist motorsport workshops since February and will finally get to put it to the test during the four-day competition.

Staffordshire University won the 'Breakthrough Award' when it entered the competition for the first time last year. Project leader Daniel Stone is one of the only two remaining members from that winning team and hopes to build on their success.

Dan, a final year Motorsport Engineering student, said: “I’m really excited to go down there. We’ve made a lot of improvements this year - the design is a lot more streamlined.”

“It’s been stressful being the team leader but I’ve really enjoyed it. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives and when you actually get to the event it’s probably the best weekend of your life!”

The teams are judged on a range of criteria from their costings, business plans and all aspects of the car’s design from the suspension to the electronics and bodywork.

The Staffs Formula team is made up of students from Motorsport Engineering and Computer Games Programming courses with the majority in the first year of their degrees.

Dan said: “It is a very hard ask for people with little experience to build a race car in a few months but I’m really happy with the guys, they’ve definitely pulled their weight.

“Getting involved in Formula Student is a massive benefit and helps you to hone your practical and academic skills. I think if you have it on your CV then automotive companies see it as a major positive.”

Andy Cash, Lecturer in Motorsport Engineering, said: “The competition provides undergraduates with invaluable real-world project experience as they begin their engineering career.

“It is a mammoth task and by no means guaranteed that when starting the project it will be successful. However, the team has worked hard, all of which is outside the curriculum and in their own time.”

Before they head to Silverstone, the team will unveil their finished racing car at a launch event being held at The Swift Gallery on Thursday 11 July. The gallery in Fenton is a fitting venue as it houses a collection of motor racing photographs assembled over twenty five years by brothers John and Andrew Swift.

Andy added: “This event is an opportunity for the team to showcase their achievements with colleagues, family and friends before going to the competition. It should be a good night!”

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