September 29th, 2016

Graduates speed ahead in F1 design

Updated: 4:52 pm, May 07, 2015

THE next generation of racing car has been developed by this group of motorsport engineering undergraduates at Coventry University.

And as well as having the help of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 team they are also now one of only six Formula Student teams across the UK to bank £2,500 from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The Phoenix Racing team will be entering a fully-fledged electric race car in this year’s competition powered by advanced lithium ion batteries capable of getting the car, driven by Matthew Jackson from Warwick, to a top speed of 100 kms per hour.

At £10,300 the students’ it is costing just 0.01 per cent of the cost of a modern F1 car to develop and build.

They are using the cutting-edge facilities in the university’s high performance engineering lab based which houses a shaker rig to tweak the chassis and a subsonic wind tunnel built by the Mercedes F1 team to fine-tune the aerodynamics.

The university’s best performance in the annual contest was back in 2011 when their car finished in the top 20 overall and won the award for creating the most fuel-efficient car.

This year they are up against 14 teams from as far afield as China, Canada and India in a bid to become the first British university to win the competition at Silverstone on July 9 to 13.

Adam Clark, third year motorsport engineering undergraduate and Formula Student project leader, said: “It’s certainly going to be a challenge to win the event against such stiff competition, but the IMechE prize has given us a welcome boost and we’re all working very hard to ensure we give the big European teams a run for their money.

“This year is the first time Phoenix Racing has ever developed an electric-powered car, so while we’re realistic in terms of what we can achieve using this technology for the first time, we’re also very excited about what opportunities it’s giving us both on the track and back at the university, where we’re learning a huge amount about high performance, zero emission engineering solutions.”

The Phoenix Racing team (s)

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