Our team over at KMF Precision Engineering sponsored the Staffordshire University Racing (SUR) team helping them with any specialist parts they may need. SUR are going into their 7th year at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Formula student event. The team had an exhilarating win of 1st place in the First Year Vehicle Category at the 2021 competition and a 2nd place overall. In 2022 the team won 4th place against Formula Student teams globally.
Formula student is a competition designed and ran by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and 2023 will mark the 24th year of the competition. Over 1000 universities globally compete each year, it's Europe's largest engineering competition!
Each year the UK competition is hosted at Silverstone following the departure of Formula 1 and includes both static and dynamic events. This unique IMechE competition encourages thousands of university students from all over the world to develop their skills further, not only in engineering but also in business, design, communications and many more areas. The competition includes internal combustion engine cars also electric drivetrains and AI controlled cars.
The event also hosts notable industry ambassadors from the likes of Formula 1 (Paddy Lowe, James Alison and Ross Brawn).
Staffordshire University Racing is the Universities racing team which competes in the IMechE Formula Student. SUR aim to build a competitive and reliable single-seated race car for the annual event.
Over the past 7 years, the team have constructed 4 different cars from the ground up. They do this by manufacturing in-house and fabricating or sourcing more specialist parts through their sponsors such as KMF Precision Engineering.
"The team has allowed me to gain invaluable practical and theoretical experience that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to have." Callum Mate Year 3 Automotive.
When SUR first started competing the team had little in the way of funds, resources or experience. Unfortunately, the car didn't even make it through Scrutineering and during its 2nd year, the car retired after 11 laps due to mechanical failure placing 68th. During the 3rd year, the car made it through Scrutineering but again retired during the endurance test, placing 62nd .
For 2020/21, the team's target was to finish in the top 30. But there was a new challenge to face, Covid-19. The 2020 event competition took place as an online simulation, meaning the team had to learn a new software. In 2021, all their hard work paid off as they finished in 1st place in the First Year Vehicle Category and 2nd in the overall.
So, what is in store for the future of SUR. Now going into their 7th year, the team are looking into shaving as much weight off the car as possible. Also, the Chassis (vehicles main support structure) will feature a billet plate (bar of metal) that will be mounted onto the Drexler. They are also going to be designing an aerodynamics package for the first time.
Further into the future, the long-term vision is to run a car for every category whilst maintaining their success.
KMF wishes them all the best for the future.