Formula Student

On 10-13 July, Silverstone – the home of British Motor Racing – will host the world famous Formula Student – featuring the brand new Class 1A – Alternative Fuels.

Formula 1 stars of the future from over 100 universities are gearing up for the biggest motorsport event of their lives when they take part in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Formula Student (FS) event next weekend – 10 -13 July at Silverstone.

FS is Europe’s biggest student motorsport event and is in its 11th year. It is taking place at the world famous Silverstone Racing Circuit, in Milton Keynes. FS is the only event of its kind where some of the best young engineering minds are brought together to compete in a single-seater racing car that they have designed and built from scratch.

This year will see the unveiling of the world’s first fully powered hydrogen and hybrid racing cars* at the event as FS drives forward the technology for eco-cars to pole position. This year will be the biggest in the event’s history with approximately 3,000 students from 22 different countries attending. Cities as far afield as Mumbai and Milan, Glasgow and Graz, Austria, will be represented. And with Formula 1 engineers from Toyota, Honda F1, Renault F1 and Red Bull Racing attending to scout for motorsports rising stars, the 116 teams (including 38 UK teams) know this is their chance to get their career in the fast lane.

FS is moving with the times this year with the introduction of Class 1A (Alternative Fuels category) which allows environmentally friendly cars to enter the competition with brand new rules. This new breed of cars can be powered by anything – including hydrogen sourced from farm manure. Students from Hertfordshire University will be entering their car in the event powered by hydrogen based from farm waste.

All the FS teams take part in a series of exciting dynamic events at Silverstone such as the Acceleration, Sprint, Skid-Pad and Endurance events.  The students’ knowledge, creativity, and imagination will also tested in the equally important Design, Presentation and Cost assessment elements of the competition where they must present their designs to a group of top judges drawn from industry and motorsport. For the first time low carbon cars will take part in ALL the dynamics and be judged on the amount of carbon emissions produced.

John Wood, FS Chairman, said: ‘‘The event is an innovative, cutting-edge competition, and alternative fuels are on everyone’s agenda. It also ties in with the IMechE’s key themes, Education, Environment, Transport and Energy, so it makes enormous sense for IMechE Formula Student to be a leader in this area.’’

On Class1A, he added: ‘‘First and foremost, FS is an educational event and these students are pushing the boundaries with some very exciting, revolutionary technology coming through and we have deliberately put little restrictions to encourage the next exciting chapter in the competition.”

Jon Hilton, FS Chief Judge, and Managing Partner of Flyrbid Systems, said: ‘‘It will be up to this next generation of engineers to solve problems surrounding vehicle emissions and alternative energy, and Formula Student gives them the essential, practical skills they need to achieve this. Motorsport has got a huge contribution to make to new carbon technologies. The development of alternative fuels in a motorsport environment like Formula Student is extremely fast and everything learned can be directly transferred to road vehicles, and help reduce the damage we are doing to our planet’’ he added.