Tag Archives: automotive

Coventry Motorsport Students Aiming For Silverstone Success

Motorsport engineering students at Coventry University will be aiming for the top step of the podium at Silverstone next weekend, just a week after Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton wow home crowds at the British Grand Prix.

The students – who make up the Phoenix Racing team – have worked together over the past six months to design and build a single-seater racing car from scratch for the prestigious Formula Student competition. Coventry’s team will compete against over 130 entries from universities in 31 countries including India, Russia, the United States and – for the first time – Middle Eastern teams such as Palestine.

Phoenix Racing, which has been entering the Formula Student competition for over ten years, is run exclusively by Coventry University students, with minimum input from supervising staff. At the start of the project, the students split themselves into sub-teams, each working on an area of the car including chassis, engine and drivetrain. This year’s machine is set to be the most sophisticated yet, with the students taking full advantage of the University’s fully-equipped motorsport workshop and advanced engineering facilities to give them the edge.

The car is powered by a Honda CBR600F3 motorbike engine to ensure it is as light and as powerful as possible, and features a sophisticated F1-style paddle-shift gearbox which is powered by the engine’s oil pressure. The team comprises some of the same students who worked on the prize-winning evGrandPrix project, which saw the Coventry University squad claim third overall in America’s prestigious Electric Vehicle Grand Prix at Indianapolis in May.

Dan Priestman, third year motorsport engineering student and Formula Student project team leader, said: “It’s been a lot of hard work and late nights, but the whole team is confident we’ve come up with our most competitive car ever. There are some cool, clever engineering features on the car which we hope will pay off. “It’s great to be able to put into practice everything we’ve learned on the motorsport engineering course. At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about – getting your hands dirty building real life racing cars!”

The Formula Student competition, which is run by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and supported by Jaguar Land Rover and many luminaries in the Formula One world, pits universities against each other in a test of technical and driving skill. Students must demonstrate creativity in design, technical understanding and – above all – good team work and communication to overcome the challenges along the way and ensure the project is completed on time and on budget. The cars are then tested and judged by a panel of industry professionals, who score it on different dynamic aspects such as acceleration, grip, manoeuvrability and engine efficiency.

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One team, said: “I never fail to be impressed each year by the amount of talent shown by the Formula Student competitors. When it comes to giving the younger generation of engineers a chance to demonstrate their skills, there really is no substitute for Formula Student.” This year’s Formula Student competition takes place next week on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit over a four day period beginning Thursday 14th July.

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Biohydrogen Hypercar ‘Bizzarrini’ Is Students Dream Of The Future

Bizzarrini Veleno - The Future In Automotive Design?

A Coventry University student will be exhibiting his no-holds-barred vision of the future of car design at the School of Art and Design’s Degree Show 2011 in the first week of June. Borys Dabrowski, 21, from Poland, came up with his concept for the Bizzarrini Veleno – an environmentally-friendly, biohydrogen-powered ‘hypercar’ for the year 2030 – in tribute to the legendary Italian car designer Giotto Bizzarrini.

Inspiration for the look of the high-tech, low carbon vehicle came largely from nature and in particular from the amphibious poison dart frog, whose aesthetics and movement Borys studied before designing the sleek Veleno sportscar. The Veleno features a wealth of cutting-edge technologies, including a powerful electric motor and fuel cell designed to take advantage of hydrogen generated from renewable sources such as algae and organic waste, otherwise known as biohydrogen.

Writes Alex Roache…

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Coventry Students in Electric Grand Prix Podium Success

Three Motorsport Engineering students from Coventry University have finished third in the hotly-contested evGrandPrix in America, a race for pure electric karts which takes place as part of the build up to the iconic Indianapolis 500.

Ryan Colvey (24), Paul Sleight (23) and Andrew Cook (21) teamed up with the University of Sunderland to take part in the prestigious annual event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which encourages students to design, build and race the fastest and most energy-efficient battery-powered kart over 100 laps. The trio, who designed and built the all-electric kart using the CAD and laser engineering facilities in Coventry University’s motorsport workshop, got off to a good start when their kart was voted runner-up in the ‘design’ category, which qualified them second on the grid for the gruelling race ahead of a multitude of universities from across America.

Writes Alex Roache…

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University charges up to take on America in Electric Grand Prix

Coventry University engineering students are gearing up to race an electric vehicle at the world-renowned Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) – fifty years after a Coventry-built engine powered racing legend Jack Brabham to a top 10 finish at the famous ‘Brickyard’.

Ryan Colvey (24), Paul Sleight (23) and Andrew Cook (21), all Motorsport Engineering students, are teaming up with the University of Sunderland to create an electric go-kart to compete as part of the build-up to America’s most iconic race, the Indianapolis 500.

Writes Alex Roache…

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CUtoday Automotive – MG resurrection gains momentum in Shanghai

Following Rover’s former sister brand making an attempt at a revival, MG turns up at this year’s Auto Shanghai with a brace of new models. But can they propel the company back into the British car market? writes Joe Breeze from Shanghai…

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CUtoday Automotive – State of play: life behind the F1 veneer

Formula 1 in front of the camera is all glamorous girls and globetrotting lifestyle, but the world’s finest form of motorsport is not all it appears to be. A candid Karun Chandhok, Team Lotus F1 reserve driver, speaks to CUtoday and talks life on the F1 circus and the state of the sport today.

With a huge amount of politics to contend with, a heavy physical training schedule and a bulging PR programme to follow, it’s unsurprising Chandhok sighs “F1 is tiring.” Writes Sean Carson…

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CUtoday Automotive – Revered automotive photographer Mike Valente drops in for a ‘Cov Con’

By Sean Carson

13.59 – Finally, thanks to Mike Valente for coming in and sharing his thoughts and experiences on getting the perfect image.

13.57 – “Look for a different way to work and a different technique; set yourself aside from everybody else,” Valente’s advice to any aspiring photographer. Interested in all forms of photography and the equipment involved, Valente says he can’t go anywhere without having a camera on him.

13.55 – How to get a good picture on a miserable cloudy day? “Use the atmosphere” says Valente. “Try and keep the camera dry, but make it work for you. If it was bucketing it down we wouldn’t use a tracking shot as the spray would obliterate the cameras and the image. We’d modify it to a panning shot.”

13.52 – “At 300 dpi for a magazine, and by the time the printing has cocked it up for you, you can shoot at five megapixels” believes Valente.

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