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Press release

  • 30 January 2009

Students feel the need for speed

World land speed record breaker Richard Noble OBE will visit Sussex students building a Formula Student racing car on Friday 30th January.

Mobil 1 Team Sussex will race against student built cars from around the world in the prestigious Formula Student competition in July. Team Marketing Manager Chris Henderson said: "We are all really excited about this visit. Richard is one of the UK's foremost experts in building fast cars so his advice could be vital to winning the competition at Silverstone this year."

Mr Noble will visit the team before the University of Sussex graduation ceremony where he will receive an honorary Dr of Science degree. The team was also visited last November by Harry Shablom, Motor Sport Director of headline sponsor Exxon Mobil. The multinational petrol giant's Strategic Global Alliances Manager, Rupert Bravery, a Sussex Alumni, has provided the team with week by week training, assistance, marketing advice and financial assistance.

Also visiting the team today is Lance-Corporal Johnson Beharry, of the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, who was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration for valour in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, for twice saving members of his unit from ambushes on 1 May and again on 11 June 2004 at Al-Amarah, Iraq.

The students have been working full speed since last summer on their 2009 entry - usually teams enter the non racing elements of the competition in their first year but the Sussex 'petrol heads' worked right through the summer to enable them to get a race ready car by July.

These hands on students will need to use their business acumen too. The competition is not just about building a race a car, but also to develop and present a viable business plan to the judges. The students are required to seek sponsorship, develop their own marketing and communications strategy and ensure the whole project is professionally managed.

Features of Mobil 1 Team Sussex's entry include a Yamaha 600cc four-cylinder injection engine, restricted airflow 20mm, Mobil 1 oil, DTA fast Engine management system, electronic paddle shift mechanism - just like a McLaren and an Exxon Mobil painted carbon fibre shell.

The engineering students Mike Andrews, Adam Wilton, Mike Preston, Steve Landsdowne, Stan Smith, Jack Bergquist, Angelos Masouras, Charidemos Levadiotis, Daniele de Anna, Mina Samaan, Martin Jones, Alex Balbastro, Paolo Corsini, Tom Williams and Chris Henderson, along with product design undergraduate Anna Dugard, manufacturing supervisor Martin Rayner and microbiology student Hannah Newey have entered the 2009 Formula Student competition being held at Silverstone on Thursday 16 - Sunday 19 July 09.

Formula Student is run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), with the assistance of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Notes for editors

Event date: Friday 30th January 09

Time: Richard Noble and 20 members of the Mobil 1 Team Sussex will be available between 11.05am - 11.45am for photographs and interviews with the constructed car chassis - around 20 students.

Location: Meet at Sussex House University of Sussex, Falmer Campus at 10.45 and ask for Danielle, at to be escorted to the car lab.

Contact: Danielle Treanor 0774 0099325 to arrange your visit

Websites: Mobil 1 Team Sussex website

Richard Noble website

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