Brunel Racing Formula Student Project 2013

Brunel Racing Formula Student Project 2013


The Brunel Racing Formula Student project challenges engineering students to design and manufacture a single-seater racing car. Within 9 months, the team are required to go from concept to a final ready-to-race car. Managed by Masters students who lead a 25+ design team, all areas of the racing car, including chassis, bodywork, suspension, powertrain, drivetrain and driver controls, are designed within multiple constraints and strict regulations. The final result is a car that weighs around 200kg and can achieve 0-60mph in less than 4 seconds.

Every year, Brunel Racing competes at Formula Student competitions (UK and Germany) against other university teams from all over the world. The main aim is primarily educational, allowing young engineers to develop their real-world skills and experience. As with all forms of motorsport though, Formula Student is also highly competitive. Although racing is a key aspect of Formula Student competitions, teams are also evaluated on the design, business model and cost breakdown of the car.

This year’s 2013 car, BR14, has been designed with ‘simplicity and reliability’ in mind, with the team focusing on early completion and rigorous testing prior to the first competition at Silverstone.

The design of BR14 features a steel tubular space frame chassis, optimised for vehicle dynamic performance and driver safety. A double A-arm unequal length suspension setup has been designed with respect to the competition track layout, providing great dynamic performance and handling characteristics for tight corners.

The car is powered by a restricted Yamaha R6 engine, producing an output of approximately 75bhp. Custom engine auxiliaries have been iteratively developed to maximise torque and power output, whilst the resulting power band ensures driveability. Driver controls such as the steering wheel and pedal box have been designed with ergonomics at the forefront; driver comfort is a crucial factor in achieving the maximum performance from a racing car. 3D laser printing has been utilised to create a lightweight steering wheel with an integrated gearshift paddle system. 3D printing is capable of producing complex geometry components that have good specific strength.

Beyond the design of the car, the project exposes the team to a business environment. Time, resources, budgets, logistics and communications must all be efficiently managed. Brunel Racing collaborates with many valued partners throughout each Formula Student project. With great support from industry, the team always aim to evolve and work towards greater achievements. This also enhances the experience gained as students are exposed to a multitude of products, technologies, facilities and services applicable to the motorsport and automotive industries.