Our team strives to be one of the top Formula student teams in the UK using our engineering knowledge to design and manufacture excellent cars. Students work on every aspect of the car from the suspension, chassis and aerodynamic packages to the power and drivetrains. The project is student driven with (lots of) support from faculty members.
Leeds has had a rich history with Formula student becoming the first UK university to take part in the competition back in the 1996 competing in the American league. Since then we have raced around the world including Australia and Japan.
So what is Formula student UK?
Formula student UK is an annual competition pitting university teams from the UK and abroad against one another at Silverstone. Up to 120 teams compete through a series of tasks to which points are assigned and a winner declared.
The business team have to come up with a realistic business plan as if we were a company planning to produce the car at a larger quantity to sell. They then have to present their idea to judges walking them through the target market, production plan, unique selling point and profitability.
The presentation team must then be able to answer questions based upon them presenting this business plan to potential investors. Points are awarded on the quality of the presentation and business plan.
Before teams can compete in the Dynamic events, the car has to pass the technical inspections to ensure that the car is safe to drive and that it has been built to the regulations. These tests are broken down into scrutineering, tilt, noise, and brake tests. If the car passes one of the tests, a sticker is placed on the front of the car. Only after the car has all the stickers may it compete in the dynamic events.
Cost & Sustainability Analysis
This involves a document that outlines the cost of all parts and manufacturing used on that year’s car. Judges compare the car presented to them at competition and what is included on the cost list with any irregularities having to be explained by a team member. Any that cannot be explained results a penalty to be applied to the overall score. The car is then given points based upon the final cost.
The engineering design event involves the whole team taking part. Engineers and judges question the team on all design choices. This encourages teams to consider exactly why they are building each piece the way they are as well as documenting why. Every member consequently has to know and be able to explain why a certain intake shape was used or why we are using this engine model. This extends through all of the sub teams.
Points are awarded based upon the knowledge of team members, how appropriate the design choices were and the overall build quality.
The cars are driven around a figure of 8 track - Twice in the right hand direction and twice in the left hand direction. The two drivers per team each take two runs. The time of each direction is averaged and the faster the time, the more points.
A smaller course is used as a time trail event. One car at a time tries to set the fastest time around a 1km circuit with tight corners and hairpin bends. This is very taxing on the cars' suspension and testing of a drivers' capabilities. More points are awarded the faster the times.
Cars start at standstill and accelerate down a 75m straightway. The cars are given points based upon an average time to complete the runs over 4 runs.
This race has multiple cars on the track at once. After 11km the car comes into the pits, the engine is switched off and the driver is swapped. The car is then (hopefully) restarted and the second driver completes the final half of the race. The course includes straightways, hairpin bends and tight corners.
If a car stalls and is unable to be restarted or breaks down, the team score a limited amount of points. However, if the car is able to complete the race, points are awarded for the time to complete the 22km.
Before the endurance race, the car’s fuel tank is filled completely. It is again filled at the end of the race with the amount required to fill the tank recorded. The less fuel used during the 22km race, the more points the team will receive.