Students from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology have won the world’s largest student motorsport competition.
Formula Student, which took place at Silverstone over the weekend, saw the tightest finish in the competition’s 14 year history. The competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges universities from across the world to design and build an F1-style racing car in one year before racing them at Silverstone. The cars are judged on their speed, acceleration, handling and endurance, while the teams are tested on their design, costing and business presentation skills.
Chalmers beat the electric car from Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, by just 2.4 points. Monash University, based in Melbourne, Australia, took third place.
Chalmers’ petrol car, with an imposing rear-wing aerodynamic package, took consistent top 10 positions in all of the eight events that make up the competition, winning the gruelling 22km endurance race.
Around 3,000 students in 134 teams from 34 countries entered this year’s competition, making it the largest in the competition’s history. This year, for the first time, the alternative-fuel cars were pitted directly against the petrol cars. 20 electric cars took part, with Delft and Zwickau’s battery-powered racers both making the top 10.
Andrew Deakin, Formula Student Vice-Chairman, said: “Chalmers University’s car is a masterpiece of engineering that makes a worthy winner. As well as being one of the fastest cars round the track, it also performed consistently and impressively in the static events. Delft’s electric car pushed it to the wire, showing that the future of motorsport needn’t necessarily lie in the internal combustion engine.
“This year’s competition has been truly impressive, with many of the cars displaying world class engineering that wouldn’t be out of place in a Formula One paddock. These young engineers will mature into the motorsport team bosses and industry leaders of the future.”
Jonathan Rice, Team Leader of Chalmers Formula Student, said: “This is the biggest student engineering competition in the world. We’ve competed against the very best universities, not just from the UK and Europe, but from around the world. It feels amazing to have won it.
"First and foremost this is down to the team – you can’t do something like this without working as a single unit. That’s the most important thing. Chalmers Formula Student has come so close to being shut down. They can’t do that now.”