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UCLan racers awarded for engineering skills

13 October 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Student car wins two awards in race series

An electric car designed and built by engineering students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won awards at two regional rounds of a national racing event.

The UCLan car was named the Best Engineered Car at two of the three events it entered and also won an award for innovation after racing in the Greenpower Electric Car IET Formula 24+ race series. The results were announced at the team’s last race at Aintree Motor Circuit and the car will now advance to the awards’ national final.

The vehicle, designed and built by second year students Christian Manterfield, 20, Ashley Pickin, 20 and 19-year-old Peter Sullivan, beat of competition from 20 other teams to win the awards, voted for by Siemens Engineers and other event sponsors.

Christian commented: “To win these awards in our first season of racing is very encouraging and we’re already planning new ways to improve the car and make it better for next season. Being able to design, build and race the car alongside our studies really adds value to what we’re learning in the classroom and allows us to put theory into practice.”

The race criterion requires teams to design and build an electric car with a standard motor and sets of batteries. Each race is a one hour endurance event so the car has to use its energy efficiently or the car runs out of battery power. This forces them to balance between speed and power usage.

"To win these awards in our first season of racing is very encouraging and we’re already planning new ways to improve the car and make it better for next season"

To win the awards the cars were judge on their construction, design, controls, weight efficiency, transmission, cooling and aerodynamics. UCLan was the only team to have a car with a fibreglass structural body and was also praised for its use of 3D computer aided design to model and manufacture it.

Senior engineering lecturer Tony Broad said: “It’s great to see students applying what they have learned in lectures to this project.

“The fact they can drive and race a car they have designed and built is a massive motivator and winning Best Engineered Car twice is just icing on the cake. We have great plans for next year.”

The UCLan electric car is made from fibreglass, is fully electric and can travel up to 30mph.

The top 11 cars in the regional heats of both awards will go through to a national final where the winner will be announced later this month.

The Greenpower Electric Car IET Formula 24+ race series is made up of eight, one hour, championship rounds. Teams must enter at least three events including the Final Round at Goodwood Motor Circuit in October. A team's top three results determine their position in the final championship table.

Electric Car