Where Jensen Button failed, the Automotive Academy has succeeded. With the British Grand Prix driver coming in fifth, the Academy Racing team reached the podium, coming third in its debut outing at the weekend’s Class 1 (200) series of the IMechE Formula Student competition. Of all 85 entries, from 18 countries and from across all classes, the team also won the IEE Award for the Best Presentation.
The 10 students on the Academy’s Graduate Development Programme, racing under the Academy Racing banner, competed at the Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire, putting the 97mph racing car through a series of tests covering endurance, acceleration, sprint and performance on the skidpan.
Over three days of competition, the team were also judged by an expert panel of five European judges on the vehicle’s design. Overall, the team finished third in the Class 1 (200) series behind the University of Wales, Swansea and the University of Leeds.
It was the 45 minute presentation on the business and marketing plan that so attracted the judges and led to the IEE Presentation Award. The presentation set out how the team would manufacture 1,000 vehicles a year, the costings involved and the proposed marketing of the vehicle.
Following the event, team member Adam Sammons of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said, ‘We have all worked so hard for the last 10 months and all that effort really paid off. We are delighted to have had such a promising debut in the event and hope students on next year’s course can learn from our experiences. We have learnt so much from creating the car to our own design, sourcing the materials and generating sponsorship, as well as the buzz of testing and then racing the car over the race meeting. It’s been a great time for us all’
Commenting on the team’s success, Academy chief executive, Dr Alan Begg, said, ‘These are fantastic results from our new graduates. It shows their dedication and hard work that the students have put in during the last few months. The Graduate Development Programme is designed to bring students together, to put their university work into real automotive context and to give them 10 year’s worth of experience in the space of a one year course. Academy Racing’s terrific performance shows how successful the course is.’
- The Formula Student competition is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), in partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). It promotes careers and excellence in engineering, challenging students to design, build, develop, market and compete as a team with a small single-seater racing car.
- More details on the Graduate Development Programme, as well as other Academy courses, is available at: www.automotiveacademy.co.uk