Formula car team race at Silverstone

Formula Student

5 August 2014

Top engineering and design students from Aston raced their concept car against university teams from across the world in the Formula Student competition.   

The Aston Formula team, led by Dr David Upton, performed strongly at the event, held at Silverstone. Their car was one of only 26 vehicles out of 97 entrants to complete the Endurance Test, a continuous 22 lap (22km) drive around the famous race track. 

In the Business Presentation category, in which students have to convince a panel of expert judges to ‘invest’ in their racing car project, the Aston team were highly rated and finished 23rd overall. 

The Formula Student Competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), challenges higher education students to design, build, develop and market a small single-seater racing car and then pit it against university teams from around the globe. This year’s event was particularly popular, with 106 teams from 38 countries participating. 

The Team have worked incredibly hard over the past year and are very happy and proud about their performance

Dr Upton, a Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said: “The Team have worked incredibly hard over the past year and are very happy and proud about their performance. Although we faced some early technical setbacks, we made repairs to our car and successfully overcame them. 

“The Formula Student competition really is an excellent vehicle for developing the skills and attributes required by future employers. The contest with other teams is tough and the experience gained by all the members of the team in such an atmosphere will prove to be invaluable.” 

In this year’s competition, Formula Aston entered a new design car with a light yet durable welded tubular steel space frame chassis and molded fibre glass body. The students used advanced Computer Aided Technology to fabricate the vehicle, allowing them to incorporate a quieter exhaust silencer system than was used in last year’s car. 

Dr Upton added: “Our entry this year was a significant improvement upon previous models. Indeed, it was the first time an Aston University team completed the Endurance Test since 2008, such are the demands and rigours of the course and racing for such a distance. We will be working hard next year to ensure we build upon all of the positives from the Formula Student competition this year.” 


For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or