University’s racing car gets first outing
The University of Wolverhampton’s racing car has taken its first successful run around the famous track at Donnington Park.
Student engineers have been busy preparing the Formula Renault Racing car for its first test lap, and seasoned race teams at the event commented on their professional approach.
The car was piloted by professional driver Shane Kelly, whose recent screen work includes driving roles on hit films ‘Rush’ and ‘Fury’.
The University bought the car as part of its plans to offer a range of Motorsport and Automotive Engineering courses from this year.
The new courses will focus on applying technical theory to real world situations, and as part of the students’ project work, Shane will pilot the University of Wolverhampton’s car in the ultra-competitive Monoposto Championship.
The track times achieved at the test day last week showed the car is highly competitive within the Formula Renault racing class.
The team is headed up by David Tucker, Principal Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, who said: “The student race engineers handled their first test calmly and professionally and received praise from seasoned race teams for the standards of their preparation, race drills and technical skills.”
Gavin Purnell, student race engineer, said: “This is an awesome opportunity to get experience I can use in the real world. Working as a team it just goes to show what you can achieve. The car is running well and this is just the start, I’m really looking forward to our first race and the rest of the season.”
The successful first run was captured on film by the students from the University’s Faculty of Arts, who shot footage for their end of year project and will create a documentary following the team’s first season.
The car’s next outing will be a test event at Cadwell Park on Friday, 17 April, with events at Brands Hatch and Silverstone planned over the coming months.
The car, which has been painted with the University’s logo and livery, is based at the Telford Innovation Campus and will enter competitions under the name University of Wolverhampton Racing (UWR).
Last summer, the University invested £500,000 in transforming the engineering facilities at Telford, including new workshops with two car bays, benches and professional tools to support the students’ work on the racing car.
Pictures (more photos are available on request)
UWR 1: Shane Kelly driving the University of Wolverhampton Racing car at Donnington Park
UWR 2: Staff and student engineering team with driver Shane Kelly.
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