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Aston Formula Student on track for Silverstone

The Formula Student reveal their racing car for this year's competition, alongside the Vice-Chancellor and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham

Top student engineers and designers have unveiled their 2010 Formula Student racing car, ahead of the competition taking place later this month at Silverstone.

The competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), challenges university students to design, build, develop and market a small single-seater racing car, then compete against higher education institutions across the world. A record 127 teams from 26 countries will be at Silverstone in July, with 42 UK universities taking part.

The Aston team, managed by MSc engineering students, Phil May and James Riley will see the team of final year engineering and design students, look to better its top 30 position in 2009.

Phil May said, “Last year saw Aston achieve its best result in the competition in its ten year history, so this year we are aiming for a top five finish among UK entrants and a top 15 placing overall. We have already secured a significantly higher number of sponsors this year, reducing our financial dependency on the University, and we hope to continue to build on this.”

Project Manager Ian Sleeman commented, “We are extremely optimistic about how we are going to do in this year’s competition. The car has ambitiously been redesigned; we’ve reduced its weight, increased its power output by around 20 per cent to around 60 horse power, increased the rigidity of the car, and made it more balanced. Each member of the 16-strong team has been given responsibility for specific areas of the car making us fully prepared for the race.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julia King, helped unveil the new car, commenting, “This is a fantastic competition for students to take part in, with it being the biggest of its kind in Europe. It gives the team unique first-hand practical experience of the world of engineering, giving them greater future prospects in terms of graduate employment. The team are extremely innovative and motivated and we wish them the very best of luck for the competition, we are sure they will do Aston proud!”

The teams will be competing in 600cc cars, which are designed and built from scratch and are capable of travelling from 0 to 60mph in under four seconds. The cars will be put through a series of tests, including acceleration, sprint, endurance races, and skid pads. The students’ knowledge, creativity, and imagination are also tested in the equally important design, presentation and cost assessment elements of the competition. This involves students presenting their designs to a group of judges drawn from industry and motorsport.

The Silverstone event runs from Thursday 15 - Sunday 18 July. Members of the public are invited to attend Silverstone free of charge on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July.

More information about Formula Student.

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