Cardiff University ‘Formula Student’ team become first UK winners in race history

Cardiff Racing’ team make history by picking up Formula Student 2017 title at Silverstone

Cardiff University’s student racing team have won the annual Formula Student competition at Silverstone, becoming the first UK winners in the competition’s 19-year history.

The ‘Cardiff Racing’ team, made up of 56 students from the University’s School of Engineering, beat off competition from over 100 university teams from all over the world.

Throughout the weekend, the building and engineering skills of the students were put to the test as the car went under serious scrutiny by the judges, before the students took their car onto the track to perform a number of speed and agility tests.

Once all of the judging was complete late on Sunday night, the ‘Cardiff Racing’ team were crowned Class 1 Overall Winners, finishing ahead of the University of Birmingham in second and Karlstad University from Sweden in third.

Dr Mark Eaton, a Cardiff University academic involved in the Cardiff Racing team, said: “The Formula Student event is a fantastic and highly competitive competition. It takes considerable dedication, hard work and skill to win such an event and we could not be more proud of our students for this achievement. We are quite simply blown away.”

This year the team’s car carried the name “Gwyneth”, named after the mother of ex-Formula One driver Tom Pryce.

Tom Pryce, who was born in Denbighshire in 1949, was regarded as a rising star within motor racing and remains the only Welsh driver to ever win a Formula One race. During his two-and-a-half years of driving amongst motor racing’s elite, Pryce achieved 9 top-six finishes.

At the age of 27, Pryce tragically died during a race in South Africa in 1977 when his car struck a field marshal who was running across the track with a fire extinguisher to tend to another driver who had crashed into the barrier.

The Formula Student competition is organised each year by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and invites students from around the world to take part in the four-day event at Silverstone.

The tests that the cars go through are split into two sections; static and dynamic. The static events are judged on cost of the car, presentation and design. The dynamic events consist of a figure of eight skid pan trial, acceleration and sprint events, and finally the endurance event. Each team is given a score for each event that is then totalled to give them a final score and a ranking for the event.

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