DMU Racing has a golden opportunity to build on last year’s success thanks to an exciting new sponsorship deal with Caterpillar.
The De Montfort University (DMU) Leicester team, which in 2016 enjoyed its best-ever result in the world’s biggest student motorsport competition, is looking forward to tapping into the world-famous company’s engineering expertise during the new season.
The Formula Student Championship challenges teams to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year and the new partnership is potentially far more valuable than a traditional cash injection.
DMU Racing team leader Brad Ward, who helped to make the business pitch that sealed the deal at the heavy plant expert’s design and manufacturing facility in Desford, said: “They really liked our presentation and want to help us streamline our design, manufacturing and process engineering.
“They have an amazing factory to help us powder-coat the chassis and, as part of being on board, paint the car in Caterpillar yellow.”
The team has competed in the championship for the past four years and is hoping to see improvements in all elements of the competition.
“Using professional components can only help our business and costing reports,” said Brad. “And aesthetically the car will look much better, which can only help our design report.”
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There are also acceleration, handling, sprint and endurance events – all held at the historic Silverstone race track – in which Brad is also targeting a big step forward.
“Last year the car outperformed the drivers, so this year we plan to finish it earlier to give more time for practice. This is another area where Caterpillar can assist, using their network of contacts to help facilitate access to test facilities at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Grounds.”
Brad, from Devon, has completed two years of his Mechanical Engineering degree after taking a foundation course at DMU. He has been involved in the team for three years and is currently on a year-long placement managing it: “I’d like to get a job in motorsport and DMU Racing was a huge draw for me.
“Our car always gets massive amounts of interest at Open Days and I wouldn’t have gone to a university that didn’t compete in Formula Student. Any engineer who has ambitions in this field will say the same.”
There are hopes to expand the scope of the partnership, with guest lectures at the university by Caterpillar staff.
Neil Portus, senior design engineer at Caterpillar, said: “I’m excited about Caterpillar’s decision to sponsor the DMU Racing team. I missed the opportunity to participate in Formula Student while I was at university, so it’s great to be able to support a well-established team like DMU and to help them build on their previous successes.
"It will also be good to demonstrate how the skills used to design a nine-tonne wheel loader can also help develop a lightweight race car.”
Caterpillar joins long-time DMU Racing sponsors Northampton Motorsport, which maps the team’s engines and provides engine control units (ECUs), and Demand Engineering, which fabricates exhaust systems.
Posted on Wednesday 1st February 2017