University of Hertfordshire students burning the midnight oil

A GROUP of students are working around the clock in a bid to build a racing car worthy of Silverstone. Final year and masters students studying for a degree in automotive engineering at the University of Hertfordshire are currently in the middle of this

A GROUP of students are working around the clock in a bid to build a racing car worthy of Silverstone.

Final year and masters students studying for a degree in automotive engineering at the University of Hertfordshire are currently in the middle of this year's Formula Student module.

The module involves not only building the car, but designing it and funding its development.

The car will then race vehicles designed by other universities at the legendary Silverstone circuit, on July 16.


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Even though the race is still three months away, the team has been working into the early hours at the College Lane campus in Hatfield, to ensure everything is ready in time.

Team member Darren Wells said: "In the last three weeks, we've been coming in at nine in the morning until two or three the next day. We've been pretty busy.

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"Time's running out and we've got to produce an assessment by April 30, which is a 100-page report on the project. If we don't hand that in, we don't get any marks for the course.

"It's getting there, but there's still a long way to go," he added.

As well as the race, the car will be awarded points based on handling, aesthetics, acceleration and how cost effective it is.

This year, the team has opted for battery power, and will be using a rechargeable lithium ion phosphate battery to keep the car running.

Team leader James Major said: "It's the latest technology in batteries at the moment," he said. "You can't even buy these off the shelf yet."

"With all the packs we've got together, we hope to get half-an-hour's racing out of them, which would be quite an achievement."

*The WHT is backing the team at this year's Formula Student race. For regular updates on the team's progress, visit www.whtimes24.co.uk and click on the Formula Student banner.

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