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Axminster Tools & Machinery (AT&M) have just agreed a sponsorship deal with Cardiff Racing team which is affiliated to the Engineering Department at Cardiff University. The team currently hold the top spot in Wales and are third in the UK, and take part in the biggest global undergraduate motor sport competition, known as Formula Student.

Team photo
Team photo

AT&M are taking the Platinum sponsorship deal and part of the package involves supplying a milling machine which will make components for the car. Sales Director, Alan Styles said: “This is a new and exciting project for the company to become involved in, combining education with  the fast moving world of engineering and motor racing. A new car being built by the students is still at the manufacturing stage. To support them in this process Axminster is supplying a range of tools and we are also giving them a CNC milling machine on a long term loan basis. We are looking forward to seeing the finished car and how it performs on the track.”

Cardiff Racing team is composed of students from all year groups and disciplines providing a broad range of engineering backgrounds. The work carried out in the team complements studies and students can build a strong engineering background from it. Team members are able to gain valuable experience in many areas including business, design and manufacturing. Many Cardiff Racing graduates have gone on to take up key roles with engineering firms such as Rolls Royce, Dyson, McLaren and others.

Cardiff Racing Sponsorship Team Leader, Tom Murray said: “It’s a hands-on project and we like to manufacture as much as we can ourselves. Our horizons have been expanded with the help of Axminster. The CNC milling machine they are providing will allow us to make parts previously beyond our capacities. It will give us, as engineers predominantly involved with project design, a greater understanding of the manufacturing stage of production and it will help us to become a more competitive team.”

Left: chassis construction. Right: working on the car.
Left: chassis construction. Right: working on the car.

Formula Student UK is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the most established and competitive global student motorsport competition, with Ross Brawn as its patron. The former motorsport engineer was Formula One team principal with teams Ferrari and Benetton.

Universities worldwide compete to design, build and race the best single-seater car. This demands inherently innovative ideas and attracts the most talented undergraduates in international, competitive and year-long events. These events are held all over the world, with the British event taking place at the Silverstone Circuit in mid July.

A series of rigorous static and dynamic events test both the team and the car to their limits. The dynamic events consist of a 75m acceleration test, a figure of eight skid pan, 1km sprint and a 22km endurance event. Hence, many parts of the car are intensively designed and tested for safety.

Competing in the Czech Republic (Sept 2015)
Competing in the Czech Republic (Sept 2015)

The competition also contains a business and marketing element to develop other valuable skills within graduates. The design is presented as a product for a business model, designing and building racing cars for the enthusiast within the UK. Company structure, management, facilities, marketing and finance must be considered to develop a complete understanding of the commercial side of engineering. Formula Student UK is supported by Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Shell and many other well known companies. Last year the international competition had over 130 teams from 30 different countries attend and is continuing to grow and be more competitive.

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