Students revving up for best-ever Formula at Silverstone

Members of Mobil 1 Team Sussex with the car they will be racing at Silverstone

Student engineers from the University of Sussex will be racing their best-ever car in this year's Formula Student competition at famous racetrack Silverstone in July.

Formula Student is an international competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), which challenges university students to design, build, develop and compete as a team with a small single-seater racing car in a one-year time frame.

The 16-strong Mobil 1 Team Sussex, comprising ten fourth-year and six third-year students, have been working at full-speed since July 2010 on their entry.

This year's drivers are Alex Hodson, Kieren Back, Augustin Zeitouny, Nicky Richards and Zac Avdimiotis.

The team will test the car in front of the public and against more than 120 other entries from over 30 different countries from every continent at the world-famous Silverstone motor-racing circuit, from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 17 July.

Alex Hodson, Project Manager for Mobil 1 Team Sussex, says: "Mobil 1 Team Sussex is aiming to become the top British entry of the 2011 Formula Student event.  This year's car is showing signs of meeting and surpassing the standard set by previous years' teams. It promises to be worthy competition to the world's best formula student teams from around the world.

"The team has been working nonstop to produce a high-quality and reliable race car. Their success has stemmed solely from the teamwork and effort put in by every single member, not forgetting the continued support and encouragement from University staff." 

Sussex supporters got a first glimpse of the car when it was unveiled in June in front of an audience including University of Sussex Vice- Chancellor Michael Farthing, Rupert Bravery (Distributor Business Manager for ExxonMobil and a Sussex graduate), and Army hero Johnson Beharry VC, who is a team patron.

Through Lance Corporal Beharry, who rescued comrades under fire despite horrific injuries while serving in Iraq, the launch party also served as a fundraising event for Help for Heroes, which the team supports all year round through its Nosecone Club sponsorship offer.

Features of Mobil 1 Team Sussex's entry include a Yamaha 600cc four-cylinder injection engine, and a sleek black, white and orange painted carbon-fibre shell, with the majority of components having been hand -made by the students.

For more information on the team and their progress, visit or visit Mobil 1 Team Sussex on Facebook. The unveiling ceremony can now be viewed at

Notes for Editors

What is Formula Student?

While predominantly about the design and production of a single seat racing car, Formula Student is actually more about building future engineering talent, not just in design and manufacture, but also in management, marketing and people skills that are so vital in the modern world, across all sectors of employment. Formula Student provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate their skills, enthusiasm, ingenuity and commitment to engineering excellence, and for industry to foster close links with academia to develop the people attributes they need for future success. Formula Student is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The Event

The event comprises of 7 marked categories

  • Cost
  • Presentation
  • Design
  • Acceleration - 75m dash in quickest time
  • Skidpan - Figure of eight formation
  • Endurance - 25 laps of approximately 775m each
  • Fuel Efficiency

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Wednesday, 13 July 2011