About Formula Student
The original Formula SAE programme was launched in the US in 1981, giving academic students the opportunity to design and develop a small formula-style race car. The target for the teams was to create a vehicle that had the potential to become a marketable production item, aimed at the non-professional weekend racer.
In 1998, two US and two UK cars competed in the first SAE competition in the UK, held at the MIRA proving ground, as part of Formula SAE’s expansion venture into Europe. The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) sponsored the venture and, by 2002, the competition had become established as Formula Student.
The modern day rules have changed slightly since 1981, however, many of the core principles remain the same. Each competing University team has one year to design, develop and build a single seat formula-style racing car. The competition is held across 38 countries, with over 170 teams competing at various stages with a mixture of internal combustion, hybrid and all electric vehicles.
During the static events, each vehicle is judged on design, cost, sustainability, accompanying business presentation and safety. The cars are also subjected to a tilt, brake and noise test. During the dynamic events, the vehicles undergo a skid pad session and competitions testing straight line speed, acceleration, endurance and fuel economy.
"Formula Student is, on paper, a ‘design and build’ competition for a single seat racing car, but the competition is intrinsically about high performance engineering across the whole industry. There is business, project management, team development, budgeting skills – all necessary in working life – which demonstrate teams’ design and product delivery"
Fiona Pawley, FS Project Manager
LUMotorsport is made up of a number of students studying various degrees from Automotive Engineering to Finance and Business Management. Unlike other Formula Student teams, LUMotorsport is entirely organised and run by the student team members with guidance from the academic and technical staff only when required. This means that the team is not only responsible for producing a brand new car every year, but also all finances, health and safety, as well as the business side of running a motorsport team. This tough task is made even more difficult by the fact that all of the work must be done around the team members on going degree courses.
To produce the car, the team has access to a number of facilities provided by the University including our own dedicated lab area, machine workshop and access to many types of specialist equipment. Using all of these facilities, it usually takes the team seven months to produce the car from initial conception to a fully working vehicle. The team then extensively tests the car for a further two months ensuring the best possible chance of success at the first event held in July of each year.