It's De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) most powerful racing car to date and students are unveiling it at the home of British motorsport this week.
After notching up its highest-ever placing last year, the DMU Racing team - made up of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Mechatronics students – has high hopes about its sixth appearance at the international Formula Student showdown at Silverstone.
Thanks to a timely engine recalibration by one of its sponsors Northampton Motorsport, the car has achieved the highest brake horsepower (BHP) and torque output (the amount of pulling power an engine delivers when working at different speeds) of any DMU Racing design to date.
Alex Sowter, a Mechanical Engineering student currently on a year-long placement as the team's leader, said: "Getting our engine recalibrated is really important.
"We're using a custom motorcycle engine, so it needed to be recalibrated so it can achieve maximum performance while still conforming to Formula Student’s strict rule book.
"With careful recalibration we were able to produce a car that runs reliability and performs well. We're really grateful to Northampton Motorsport for their help.
"I’m really happy that we’ve achieved a power-to-weight ratio of an Audi R8 V10 and we’re hoping that we can go from 0-60mph in just three seconds."
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Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Formula Student is the world’s largest student engineering design competition, showcasing the best and brightest mechanical engineering talent.
It attracts hundreds of entries from around the world - including USA, Australia, India, Canada, the Far East and Europe - with entrants competing to design, build and race a Formula racing car.
Teams are scored on both racing events and static events, one of which involves giving a detailed presentation on the business side of a racing car.
“You basically have to cost your car down to every last bolt and man-hour to prove it could be a profitable investment,” said Alex.
“I’m lucky to have worked on such a fantastic project and the skills I’ve developed are so broad – from handling a £30,000 budget and bringing sponsors on board to 3D printing critical components and managing the team.
“It’s been an invaluable experience that no other placement could have given me.”
Final-year Mechanical Engineering student and DMU Racing team member Sebastian Townsend is also looking forward to the competition.
He said: “I actually can’t believe that 11 months of hard work is finally coming together.
“Going up against teams with bigger budgets than us and knowing that we are still very competitive feels great.
“There’s also a good sense of community at Silverstone with Formula Student, with teams camping out together and learning from each other in and out of the pits.”
DMU Racing is sponsored by Caterpillar, Northampton Motorsport and Demand Engineering.
Posted on Thursday 12th July 2018