Student engineers reveal 2017 race car

The 2017 Sussex Racing car was launched in the soon-to-open Future Technologies Labs in the School of Engineering and Informatics. Photo by Chris Charles

The Sussex Racing car was displayed alongside a Red Bull Formula One car at the Brighton and Hove Motor Show. Photo by Chris Charles.

The Mobil 1 Sussex Racing team unveil their 2017 car, assisted by Adam Tickell (left), the University's Vice-Chancellor, and Peter Field, HM Lord Lieutenant for East Sussex. Photo by Malcolm Tam (

A race car designed and built by University of Sussex students to compete in an international competition at Silverstone this summer was unveiled at the weekend.

The Sussex Racing team have created the car from scratch over the past nine months and will go head to head with universities from around the world in the Formula Student contest in July.

The car that they hope will propel them to victory was shown for the first time publicly at the American Express Community Stadium on Sunday (11 June), in the motorsports section of the Mobil 1 Brighton and Hove Motorshow.

The team were exhibiting alongside Mobil 1, their main sponsor, who were showcasing a Red Bull Formula One car.

The main launch event then took place on the University campus, in the School of Engineering and Informatics’ new Future Technologies Labs, which are due to formally open in the autumn.

The team thanked sponsors and presented a giant cheque to the team’s charity Help For Heroes. Distinguished guests included the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, Mr Peter Field and the Deputy Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Dee Simson.

This year, the Sussex Racing team has invested in new technologies to enhance their chances of a podium finish, including:

  • New front and rear wing spoilers
  • An upgraded differential
  • Wishbones manufactured from ultralight carbon fibre
  • Advanced telemetry systems capable of measuring the driver’s every move from the pit-lane

The Sussex team consists of 13 young, talented fourth-year engineers from various disciplines such as mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. It is smaller than many of its competitors but has advanced in the competition in recent years by innovating with new materials and techniques.

Final-year student Chris Charles, Sussex Racing team leader, is confident that the team can better last year’s ninth-place UK finish. Chris says: “Although we are far from the largest team in the event, with our extremely dedicated and hard-working team members, combined with the immense support of the faculty here at the University of Sussex, I am certain that we are able to expand on our already great achievements in the competition.”

Formula Student is the world’s largest student motorsport competition, in which top engineering students from more than 100 globally recognised universities build and race a Formula-style racing car. The finale of this competition takes place every year at the world famous Silverstone racetrack. In 2016 more than 130 teams from 30+ countries competed in the event, with more than 100,000 people spectating.

The Sussex Racing team will be displaying next at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed within the ‘Future of Motorsport’ display on the 29 June – 2 July. 

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Friday, 16 June 2017