Saturday, 22 June 2013

Top UK Formula Student team, University of Hertfordshire, unveil their 2013 Challenger: The UH16

Emulation of the talent and prowess of well regarded engineers such as Ross Brawn or Adrian Newey is the guiding light and ultimate Formula Student destination.  Like sailors who strove to reach a lighthouse after months at sea, there is a long journey to reach the pinnacle of the engineering world.  Students on the final leg of their educational journey hope to astutely weave their way through the rocks to reach the safety of employment in the world of Automotive and Motor sport engineering. Every year, students from across the UK, and the world, contest each other in a competition led by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  This competition is the gateway across those rocks to the final destination, real life engineering in the workplace.   Mercedes Team Principal, Ross Brawn OBE, is the patron of Formula Student and serves as an influential figure for the students to aspire to.

Ross Brawn speaks at a Formula Student event.  Photo:
The challenge facing the students is to design and build a prototype for a high performance single - seat racing car with exceptional acceleration, braking and handling underpinned by impregnable reliability.  In addition to the demonstration of their design, engineering and manufacturing talents, the car needs to be low in cost, giving the students the chance to reveal their business prowess firstly in terms of budgeting, but also through the marketing and presentation of their car. 

Following the creation of the innovative new challengers, come six days of competition involving sixty teams from around the world.  The students and their cars undertake a series of challenges including static events involving a business presentation including a cost event and design event, followed by a technical inspection including a brake test, noise test, tilt test and rain test. Dynamic events succeed the static events when the car is put through its paces in events such as: autocross, skid pad figure of 8, and endurance.   

Formula student; the European leg of the competition, last year saw the University of Hertfordshire take the title of top team in the UK with their 2012 challenger, the UH15.  They are also decorated with the titles of twenty first in the world out of 500, and most successful Formula Student UK team of all time.

The successful 2012 offering: UH15

With the skills learned and gained from this project, and the success the university has accumulated through its participation,  it is no wonder that Alumni from the University of Hertfordshire have gone on to work in illustrious race series such as Formula One, at Sauber and Mercedes and the British Touring Car Championship teams; as well as prestigious car manufacturers: Lotus, Jaguar, Bentley and Aston Martin.

This year, UH Racing are aiming to retain their UK title, but also harbour intentions to win the competition outright.  They have a team of forty enterprising, efficacious engineering students studying degrees in Automotive Engineering and Motor sport Technology led by Dan Spicer and overseen by Senior Lecturer Howard Ash.  Working with additional support from Craig Scarborough, F1 journalist and illustrator, they have fused their individual skills together to create the single combustion UH16, which was revealed at their launch on the twelfth of June and will be entered into both the UK and German Formula Student competitions.

The UH Racing team with their 'baby'.

Craig Scarborough tries the UH16 for size.

To view a promotional video about the UH16 and catch a glimpse of it being tested, take a look at  

Now they take their mission to win to Silverstone between the third and seventh of July where they will compete in the static and endurance events.

To find out more information about UH Racing and this year’s challenger the UH16 visit their website at   
Follow them on twitter @UHRacing

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