Formula Student is described by event organisers as “Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Backed by industry and high profile engineers such as our Patron Ross Brawn OBE, the competition aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers.”

The competition involves building and testing a race car – a true challenge for any engineer! University of Southampton’s Formula Student Team entered this year, and this is what their PR Officer Jo, had to say:

“Unlike many other universities, SUFST is not reserved for final year engineering students or a particular group design project (GFP), but instead open to anybody who is interested and wants to help and be part of the team. We are proud to include students from all years and a very wide range of degree programmes. I’m a physicist but I still went to Silverstone and am on the committee for the team next year.”

The competition was a challenge for the team, but they really took things in their stride. A snapped cable and broken chain the day before the Endurance Day on the 13 July was a big worry, but the team pulled through with positive thinking. SUFST said of the Endurance Day “With only two laps having been recorded last year, the whole team watched with great anticipation from the grandstand on Copse corner or from inside the Silverstone circuit. Everything seemed to be going well, with the SUFST car overtaking many of our competitors, setting personal best lap times almost every single lap. Then, disaster struck as the gear stick broke, causing our driver to be stuck in a single gear while still trying to get the car to do as many laps as possible. Unfortunately this caused the engine to overheat and signalled the end of our running in the endurance. 8 laps completed was, however, a big improvement on last year and just shows the progress the team has made[…]” What outstanding progress indeed!

Finally, SUFST wanted to announce, “For anyone interested in joining the team, we will be designing and building an improved car for 2015 and look forward to welcoming new members at the beginning of term.” From the sound of the exciting roller-coaster ride of a competition this year, this sounds like an offer to be snapped up!

Words: Caitlin Hobbs

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