Team Bath Racing named top in UK

The University of Bath’s Formula Student team on top form at annual Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ competition

The University’s Formula Student team, Team Bath Racing, recently competed at this year’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ (IMechE) Formula Student competition, with numerous success.

Formula Student challenges student engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. Team Bath Racing 2015 (TBR15), which is made up of 20 undergraduate student engineers from the University of Bath, performed exceptionally well and came fourth overall out of 95 teams in the main Class 1 event, as well as being the top ranked UK team.

The competition took place at Silverstone and welcomed teams from all over the world, including Australia, Turkey and Ukraine as well as 49 other teams from the UK. The Class 1 event comprised eight tests, including acceleration, skid pad, sprint, fuel economy and an endurance race. The students were also assessed on their car’s design and cost, and the business case that they prepared. For the first time, the team achieved first place in the endurance race, the toughest of the individual tests. 

In addition to the TBR15 success, the student engineers were joined by their successors, TBR16 who competed in the separate Class 2 event. The Formula Student project is integrated into the third academic year of study for Bath students. Here a complete new car is designed from scratch every year, with the designs taken to Silverstone for the Class 2 event, alongside the Class 1 team.

The Class 2 event consisted of three individual tests – car design, cost and sustainability, as well as the quality of a business pitch. The TBR16 team performed extremely well and were not only named overall winners, but also achieved outright wins in each of the three tests, something not previously achieved at a Formula Student competition. TBR16 will go on to build their car and enter as a Class 1 team in 2016.

TBR15 Project Manager and MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate, Tom Peirson-Smith commented: “I am incredibly proud of what we managed to achieve. It was really satisfying to prove we had the pace to run with the best teams in the world. To win the endurance race was also something I could never have imagined doing before the event. We have now equalled Bath’s highest result at any event, with fourth overall out of 95 teams.” 

Richard Folkson, President of the IMechE and former chief judge of Formula Student, said: “The calibre of the engineering on display this year was exceptional. Overall, the level keeps improving every year. I am also delighted with the success of the University of Bath, who were the top UK team and had the top score for the endurance test.”

Academic lead and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Kevin Robinson added: “This is the latest chapter in a long period of success for Team Bath Racing at this competition, and a reflection of an immense amount of work by some very talented young engineers. The clean sweep in Class 2 gives confidence that this run may continue into next year too. 

“Anyone who has been to one of the competitions will tell you that the standard is very high and is rising every year. It is a big challenge to maintain the pace of innovation and development, but one that our students continue to meet.”

TBR15 will now continue with competitions at a further two events in August. They will first travel to Austria and compete at the Red Bull Ring from 10-13 August. Shortly after, the team will compete for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain from 27-29 August.

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