Published: 19 August 2014

Liverpool takes Russell Group second place in Silverstone’s Formula Student

Formula Student car racing

The University of Liverpool’s Formula Student team came second in the Russell Group in the season’s opening weekend at Silverstone.

Formula Student sees universities from across the globe design and build a single seater racing car in order to compete in static and dynamic events, which demonstrate their understanding and test the performance of the vehicle.

Out of 97 international competitor universities, the Liverpool team came 11th out of the competing UK universities and 36th overall.

Placed second behind only the University of Aberdeen in the business category, the team also placed well in the cost, manufacturing and sustainability category (22nd), design (20th) and endurance (24th) at the event, which takes place over four days.

This year Liverpool’s car features a completely redesigned suspension and steering system to accommodate for a shortened wheelbase of 1550mm, only 25mm above the minimum allowed.

The new steering geometry and custom bevel gearbox has reduced the required steering effort threefold and the suspension set-up makes the car much more nimble for slaloms and tight corners. It also features the team’s first ever anti-roll bars for the front and rear.

Formula Student team with car

(Picture left: Liverpool Formula Student team)

Commenting on the team’s performance, team member Jessica Loveridge said: “This year‘s car is the best we’ve ever had, but the competition was really tough. Teams from across the world take part and, for the third year in a row, the team has been placed well in an increasingly competitive field of international universities.”

Formula student is part of the School of Engineering capstone module which is taken by 3rd and 4th year Engineering students. The team has to design a new car every year and has already started work on next year’s design.

Every 4th year student who took part in this year’s team has graduated with a job to go to at companies including Jaguar Land Rover and Millbrook.

Emily Rainford, who has just completed the 3rd year of her course at Liverpool and is moving into her second Formula Student season, said: “There’s no doubt that working on Formula Student has inspired me to go for jobs in Formula One when I graduate next year. It’s a great experience and gives students a genuine taste of the kind of challenges which would be faced by a professional team.”

The team now has just a few days to make tweaks to the car before 15 students take it out to the next competition in Hungary. It is the first time that the Liverpool Formula Student team has attended Hungary, last year going to Germany’s Hockenheim circuit.

More than 40 teams will compete in Hungary, all with combustion cars, rather than the mix of combustion and electric which race at Silverstone.

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