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Press release

  • 17 June 2005
  • Students' racing car speeds off to top competition

    Raring to go. Formula Student team with Dr Dave Hole and Professor Richard Stobart

    Raring to go. Formula Student team with Dr Dave Hole and Professor Richard Stobart.

    After an intensive year of designing, testing, redesigning and retesting, a team of University of Sussex engineering students have unveiled their own racing car.


    Now they are looking forward to seeing how their single-seater vehicle fares on the track against cars from more than 60 universities worldwide.


    The students, Peter Bull, Peter Harrison, Martyn Dalton-Brown, Ian Radley, David Cresswell and Alex Bradshaw, who are all studying for Masters degrees in engineering, and product design undergraduate Chris Davies, are taking part in this year's Formula Student competition at Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire, from July 7-10.

    This is the first time Sussex has produced an entry for the prestigious competition, in which the aim is not just to build and race a car, but also to develop a viable business plan. The students are required to seek sponsorship, develop their own marketing and communications strategy and ensure the whole project is professionally managed.

    Martyn Dalton-Brown, the team's coordinator, says:  "It's been a lot of hard work but we are now very excited about taking the car out on the track and seeing how it compares with other entries."

    Features of the team's entry include a 577cc single-cylinder water-cooled engine, 0-62.5mph acceleration of under four seconds and a high-performance braking system. Working to competition guidelines, they kept within a total budget of £15,000.

    Formula Student, which began in the United States in 1981, judges entries on a variety of specifications, from best design to fuel economy and safety measures. There are also awards for best web site and best cost analysis.

    Martyn adds:  "Other universities are ahead of us in design because the knowledge has been passed down through successive years. We don't expect to have the best car there, but it is still a great achievement for us and for the University to be taking part. And we now have a vehicle that can be improved upon by future students."

    The team's supervisor, Dr Dave Hole, says: "This has been a fabulous experience for the students.  Not only will they have the excitement of seeing their own car on the track, they have learned invaluable skills that will equip them for the workplace - whether they choose to work in the motorsport industry, or any another area of engineering."

    Formula Student is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), in partnership with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE).


    Notes for editors 

    Press office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Maggie Clune, Tel. 01273 678888. email

    For more information about the competition, see:



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