Cardiff Racing team with former F1 champion Jenson Button What's OnWhat's On section icon

Drama, passion and excitement were all ingredients present at the Formula Student (FS) event held at Silverstone from 11-15 July. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the competition.

For the past two years, Axminster has given support to Cardiff Racing (part of Cardiff University) lending the team an iKX3 CNC milling machine. The iKX3 has proved invaluable for the manufacture of a number of specially designed components.

Earlier this year, Axminster began to give support to Newcastle Racing which is part of Newcastle University. The team now have full use of a KC6S lathe and KX3S mill.

Newcastle Racing’s latest model NRX
Newcastle Racing’s latest model NRX was the first UK built electric car to pass Formula Student scrutineering

How did they get on?

Both Cardiff Racing and Newcastle Racing built new cars for the Formula Student Silverstone event this year. In 2017 Cardiff were the first British team to win the annual Formula Student Silverstone event. So, how did both teams get on this year?

FSUK is over for another year, a big thanks to all of our sponsors and supporters for making it all possible! We had a really tough weekend with some things not going quite right for us, but we still finished 13th overall and we will come back much stronger in FSCzech.

Cardiff Racing tweet

Clutch issues

Finalising the design of the Cardiff car was late this year; the first test date was not until the last week of June.
At the event the automatic clutch failed. Therefore, the driver had to resort to the hand clutch, which was something new for the driver to get to grips with. However, the car completed every event at Silverstone and there were no problems with the engine, temperature and reliability. Further tests are now being carried out before both car and team go to the Czech Republic to compete.

Cardiff Racing
Cardiff Racing

The Axminster iKX3 mill again this year has been a life saver. It’s been manufacturing parts all year, the only limiting factor being the physical size of the machining area. Some of the larger parts I had to make on the bigger machines. I would say the iKX3 has made over 60% of the machine parts on the car using a solid cam machining software.

Lee Treherne (Cardiff University automotive engineer)

Going electric

The Newcastle team have been focusing on the development and build of an electric car. Although they attended the Silverstone meet, they were there to promote their new electric car and did not compete. However, they were absolutely delighted to be awarded fourth place for design – an achievement which was totally unexpected.

Newcastle Racing at Silverstone
Newcastle Racing at Silverstone

Formula Student is the world’s largest student engineering design competition. FSUK attracts entries from around the world, including USA, Australia, India, Canada and the Far East, as well as many European teams.

Entrants compete to design, build and race a formula racing car, providing undergraduates with invaluable experience before they begin their engineering career.

FS showcases the best and brightest mechanical engineering talent, with graduates regularly filling roles in organisations such as Ferrari, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains, ExxonMobil and Bosch.

As a spectator experience, FS presents the opportunity to get up close and personal with some phenomenal combustion engines and electric single seater racing cars built entirely by students who just might go on to design, build or race the F1 cars of the future.

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Former F1 champion attends FS

One of this year’s high profile speakers was former F1 champion Jenson Button who said:

I’m here today to help inspire the next generation of engineers and to highlight the importance of support provided by Santander Universities. Formula Student is massive and it’s great to see over a hundred teams here competing. Some of the cars that they engineered with and the ideas that they have come up with are outstanding.

Cardiff Racing team with former F1 champion Jenson Button
Cardiff Racing team with former F1 champion Jenson Button

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