At today’s open day at Huddersfield University, I happened to bump into three mechanical engineering students called Tom, Nathan and Philip.
They showed off their cars which they use to compete in the Formula Student competition series, run by the institution of mechanical engineering – a competition that Huddersfield University began competing in as Team HARE (Huddersfield Automotive Racing Enterprises), in 1999.
I’ll give you some background into the Formula Student Competition.
Mechanical engineering students from all over the world like Tom, Nathan and Philip, have to design, build, test and race very small single-seater racers.
The winning cars are judged based on two events: static events and dynamic events with a points system which I’ll show you below.
The static events consist of the designs of the cars (including a technical inspection of the safety, chassis, noise, tilt, brakes and technology), costs and sustainability analysis and business presentation all being inspected.
The dynamic events are made up of four races: a figure of eight race, a 1km sprint race, a 75m acceleration race and a 22km endurance and fuel economy race.
The points system:
The designs of the car: 150 points
Cost and sustainability analysis: 100 points
Business presentation: 75 points
Figure-of-eight race: 50 points
1km Sprint race: 150 points
75m acceleration race: 75 points
22km endurance and fuel economy race: 400 points
The winning team is the one with the most points up to a maximum of 1000 points.
There are four different classes:
class 1, class 1A, class 2 and class 2A (class 1A and class 2A both were stopped in 2012).
Each class has a different set of rules.
Class 1 is where teams design, manufacture and race fully working single-seaters built only for the purpose of the event; teams aren’t allowed to use these single-seaters again after their first year.
However, they could be entered into class 1A.
Class 1A is where the students would concentrate on the low-carbon aspect and sustainability of the competition.
Class 2 is where the more inexperienced students who have a planned project can participate – this class would be judged on design, costs and business presentation.
Class 2A is where students who had a planned project for a class 1A car could compete. Except teams were competing with non-essential parts on their cars.
It seems to be very complex compared to F1 or Formula E, doesn’t it?
Other universities in the UK like Leeds, Birmingham, Oxford Brookes, Bath and many others also take part in the Formula Student competition series.
Huddersfield University with Team HARE has had a fair share of success. In 2013 especially!
In Spain, they came first in the fuel economy race.
In Hungary, they came third in the cost and sustainability race.
At Silverstone, Team HARE became the number one UK team!
I’d like to congratulate Tom, Nathan, Philip and all the other engineering students for this magnificent victory. You did your university proud.
The achievements don’t stop there though!
In 2011, they were second fastest in the endurance race at Silverstone.
Guess what Team HARE was awarded in 2010?
The sixth best team in the world overall. Yes overall!