MIRA Test Day Pays Off for Bath University’s Formula Student Team

MIRA has played an instrumental part in Formula Student – Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition – since its inauguration in 1998. The competition involves universities from across the globe being challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car, with the aim of inspiring and developing enterprising and innovative young engineers.

MIRA Test Day Pays Off for Bath University's Formula Student Team

As part of their preparations five teams from universities across the UK attended a testing day in June 2014 at MIRA’s Midlands based Proving Ground facility to put their vehicles to the test and iron out any bugs ahead of the main race at Silverstone in July that year.

One of the teams that attended the test day was the University of Bath, who arrived in the morning with a car that wasn’t running. After receiving some essential design feedback from some of MIRA’s best engineers, the team left at the end of the day armed with vital information about how to improve their vehicle.

Following the MIRA test day the team made a number of improvements to the vehicle which instantly paid off at the Silverstone event. Following the race at Silverstone, Bath’s team returned to MIRA to carry out test and development work on the steering pad facility to further refine their vehicle before travelling to compete in the end of season event in Graz, Austria.

The benefits of MIRA’s input were clear to see, with Bath securing 5th place in the race – just 30 points behind second place in the competition.

Dave Turton – Project Manager of the 2014 Bath Formula Student Team said:

“The testing at MIRA was invaluable in increasing our understanding of tuning our car in preparation for the races. We carried out improvement and validation of our new suspension settings, in conjunction with lowering the front wing to gain front downforce which had to be traded off with ground clearance when pitching and rolling.

“In addition, the wind tunnel test we conducted at MIRA in conjunction with RCE concluded an extremely rewarding learning experience of Formula Student. Everyone at MIRA was extremely proactive and friendly, and made us feel welcome.”

As a result of the Formula Student programme, all of Bath’s team members from the 2014 competition have subsequently secured employment in the UK automotive sector as young engineers working in motorsports teams including Formula 1, as well as for OEMs and suppliers such as BP – one of Bath’s 2014 team sponsors.

Terry Spall, Commercial Director at MIRA Technology Park, said:

“The Formula Student competition produces practically minded engineers with good project management skills, the ability to work effectively in a team and strive for success in a very competitive environment and also engineers with a stronger level of commercial awareness. We’re delighted to be involved in the Formula Student initiative and enjoy seeing how the input of our engineers can successfully support these young professionals as they aspire to secure jobs in the automotive industry.”

More information about Formula Student can be found here.