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Leicester students to build their own racing car to compete at Silverstone

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Leicester students to build their own racing car to compete at Silverstone

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities

University of Leicester Engineering students are leading the University’s first entry to global motorsport competition Formula Student

Ambitious students from the University of Leicester are designing and building a racing car from scratch which they will pit against cars from around the world at Silverstone.

A group of Engineering students are leading the University’s first entry to Formula Student – a competition in which teams from universities around the world must design and build their own high performance race cars.

The team – named Leicester Racing - will take the car to the legendary British racetrack Silverstone in July, a week after the British Grand Prix.

The students will compete against teams from more than 100 universities around the world.

The winning car will need to succeed in a number of tests - including acceleration, speed and endurance – and teams are also judged on their design, business skills and presentation.

The competition is run by the UK’s Institute of Mechanical Engineering, and has been held since 1998.

Leicester’s team consists of a committee of 10 Engineering students and a larger group of student helpers from a wide range of degrees.

The team has already finished an initial design for the car, and is aiming to have completed the designing stage by the end of December.

After this, team members will begin building and testing the car in a workshop space provided by the University, ready for the final event from July 3 to 7, 2013.

The project was started by Caspian Burrell, 21, a fourth year MEng Aerospace student from Southampton.

He said: “It’s thrilling to be involved in Formula student. It is a great project with technical and project management demands unlike any other university activity.”

Felicity Harer, 20, a third year BEng Aerospace student from Hertfordshire and Head of Publicity for the team, said: “At a time when employers are complaining of a shortage of graduate engineers with the skills they need, Formula Student has been a massive help in giving me a practical understanding of engineering.

“The new team at Leicester is building a car that will be purely electrical. In the wake of the announcement of Formula E - the electric car division of Formula One, it is a really exciting time to be getting involved in what looks to be the future of motorsport design.”

Technical Director Richard Dix, 22, a 4th year MEng Aerospace student from Leeds, said: “Formula Student presents huge technical challenges to young student engineers, and it’s an extremely exciting project to be part of. Every day, I am astounded by the hard work and dedication of the whole team, and we’re looking forward to our efforts paying off at Silverstone.”

Professor Helen Atkinson, Head of the University’s Department of Engineering said: “This is a great opportunity for the students who are showing outstanding drive and enthusiasm as they bring the engineering skills and expertise they are learning at University to bear on the technical challenge of producing a winning racing car.”

Leicester Racing is currently looking for companies and individuals who would like to get involved – particularly in the areas of expertise, materials, parts and sponsorship.

It has already attracted sponsorship from Agni Motors, Roger Clarke Motorsport and Overlander Batteries.

The project coincides with the 50th anniversary of the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering, and will feature at the Department’s industrial showcase in February.

For further information, please contact Head of Sponsorship Georga Reed on 07941296450 or email leicesterracing@gmail.com. Alternatively see the team’s website at: Leicester-racing.co.uk

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