Entering their first competition in 1997, The University of Birmingham’s formula student team, UBRacing, has grown and grown with each year. This year’s squad consists of over 100 members, each of whose roles range from helping with the machining of small parts to the core individuals responsible for the smooth running of the entire team. The project costs upwards of £30,000 each year, funded entirely through sponsorship from both industry and individuals
Formula Student is Europe’s most established student motorsport competition, organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Boasting over 3000 students from 130 universities across 30 countries, it is valued extremely highly by universities and usually forms part of a degree-level project.
Teams compete in a number of events, both static and dynamic. Static events range from brake and noise tests to business presentations involving design, cost and sustainability, whereas the dynamic side includes events such as Endurance, Sprint and Skid Pan. These events are judged according to a number of criteria by experienced industry specialists.
Autodesk have been involved with UBRacing, for a number of years, helping the students by granting the team access to the machinery and consultancy of the Professional Services group and the Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Birmingham. This year, Autodesk manufactured the suspension clevises, differential hangers and differential hanger caps for the car.
Parts machined and donated to the team by Autodesk
In return for the sponsorship, UBRacing names Autodesk as a gold sponsor; one whose donation, money or services combined, exceeds £5,000. In return for the use of the facilities, the car is branded with the company logo, and Autodesk representatives are invited to promotional events and races.
One such event was launch day, where the UBRacing team unveiled the fully assembled car. Held in Chancellor’s Court on the University campus on the 24th June, alumni and sponsors were invited to see the final car that would be competing over the summer.
The car proudly on show in Chancellor’s Court
The event enabled sponsors to experience how they had helped the team and to see the result of the student’s hard work. The competitions that have been entered by the team this year are being held at Silverstone Circuit, UK, and Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic.
Launch day: the unveiling of the finished car
Rigorous testing and fine tuning has meant that the team are as prepared as they possibly can be for a summer of intense competition and racing. Watch this space to find out how they got on.