Cardiff Racing success in Silverstone

Published on 18 July 2014

Cardiff Racing, Cardiff University's Formula Student team, achieved an 8th place finish out of over one hundred teams last weekend at the UK round of Formula Student. This result marks the team's best result to date ranking them as the number one team in Wales and third in the UK.

The competition held at Silverstone on 10th-13th July attracted teams from 38 countries from all over the world including Germany, China and Australia. The event hosted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is one of the largest in the world of its kind and attracts global recognition from top engineering companies. Universities worldwide compete to design, build, test and race the best single-seat car using cutting edge and innovative technologies while allowing the students to develop their engineering skills and knowledge. Cars are either powered by traditional internal combustion engines or electricity.

Group shotThe competition is split between dynamic track events and static engineering presentations. The 22km endurance event saw Cardiff achieve a 6th place finish ahead of eventual winners Delft University of Technology from The Netherlands who currently hold the world record for the fastest accelerating electric car. Team Leader and driver in the event, Dewi Griffiths spoke of his elation to finish: "The endurance event is in two sections. I drove the first 11km before bringing the car into the pits where the engine is switched off and we changed the driver. Getting the car to the halfway point was a big achievement for us after having an engine failure in the previous year.

"It was an even bigger achievement when the car was allowed to continue and Giacomo Sammons, our second driver, got the car out on track. When our car was shown the chequered flag all the work from this year's hard work was rewarded. There were hugs, cheers and one or two tears in the team and that was even before we knew our result!"
 
This year's car marked a milestone for the team being the 10th car that has represented Cardiff University in the competition. Work began on the car in August of last year which allowed the team to complete the car earlier than in previous years. This gave the team sufficient time to fully test the car and prepare it for the competition.
 
There's no rest for the team however as Dewi explained: "The seven cars above us in the ranking all had aerodynamic packages whereas our car didn't. This is an area that we'll be looking at for our 2015 car to make us even more competitive. We opted to only enter the UK event this year unlike our competitors who are also competing in Europe over the summer. This is going to give us an edge in allowing us to start two months earlier than the other teams ensuring that we can be in the hunt for the top positions and competing in Europe next year. Work on CR11 starts this week."

Every aspect of the car and running of the team has been carried out by the students at Cardiff School of Engineering from the design, manufacture and testing to marketing and acquiring sponsorship. It has allowed the students to not only apply the theory that they have learned in their lectures to a practical application but also to develop skills that are vital in becoming a professional engineer.
 
The 2014 car has brought together students from all engineering disciplines with differing skills and expertise. The students are passionate and dedicated to the project. The determination to win is strong and this is something that has been noticed by the engineering industry with students going for year-long work placements and graduate positions in every engineering field, from Formula 1 teams, world-leading aerospace companies to the energy sector.

More information or if you are interested in helping or supporting Cardiff Racing and Formula Student, please visit www.cardiffracing.co.uk.