Student engineers race with flying colours at international competition

A team of young engineers at Sussex have achieved the University's best ever result in an international student motorsport competition.

This year’s Mobil1 Team Sussex roared into 9th place in the UK and came 28th out of 135 teams from across the globe.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, was present at Silverstone to cheer the team on. From R-L: Professor Michael Farthing, former Mobil1 Team Sussex member Nikki Richards, and the team's supervisor Dick Atkins.

A team of Sussex students has achieved the University’s best ever result in the Formula Student competition, in which teams of young engineers from all over the world design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year.

This year’s Mobil1 Team Sussex roared into 9th place in the UK and came 28th out of the 135 competing teams from across the globe, surpassing not only the University’s previous record, but also the expectations of the students themselves.

Automotive Engineering student Martin Law, the team’s head of commercial development, said: “This year’s place in the competition has been a massive improvement. In fact, we have exceeded our initial goal of coming in the top 35.

“I am truly thrilled about the result, and more importantly I’m proud to be part of the team that broke the University’s record. I hope we will inspire future Sussex teams taking part in the competition.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, was present to cheer the team on as they competed at the Silverstone race track in Northamptonshire last week (9-11 July).

Also in attendance was the internationally acclaimed artist María Inés Aguirre (also known as Mia), who had produced a vibrant abstract painting that was transferred onto the students’ car by researchers at Sussex, adding a blaze of colour to the vehicle as it zoomed around the track.

The competition was split into two classes, Class 1 and Class 2: while the University’s Class 1 team were tasked with designing, building, and racing a car at Silverstone, the Class 2 team were required to submit a design for a car they will build and race as next year’s Class 1 group.

Sussex’s second team, led by third-year Mechanical Engineering student Rebecca Geraghty-Shewan, added to the University’s success by coming 8th overall and 5th in the UK in the Class 2 competition.

The event was not without its drama for the University’s Class 1 team, as parts of their car failed and had to be redesigned at the last minute.

The team nevertheless scored highly in a number of tests at Silverstone, achieving 11th place in the ‘business presentation’ category – in which the students had to give a ‘Dragon’s Den’-style presentation on how their vehicle could be manufactured and marketed to racing drivers.

Notes for editors

A selection of the artist Mia’s works can be found at

Mia is currently represented by the Moorhouse Art gallery in London. More information on this gallery can be found at

University of Sussex Press Office: Ben Steele and Jacqui Bealing, 01273 678888,


By: Benjamin Steele
Last updated: Monday, 20 July 2015