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KU E-racing team wins chance to race at world famous Silverstone

By River Reporter Feb 21, 2013

Kingston students have won the chance to race at one of the most well known tracks in the world.

Max Parker 

Kingston students have got the green flag to burn rubber at the famous Silverstone F1 race track.

Kingston University Electric Racing team, made up of around 50 students, successfully got through the first stage of the Formula Student competition and now has the chance to actually race their self-made electric vehicle.

Richard Adofo, the team’s leader said: “This is the first year we’re doing this so our plan is to carry on, bring a lot of growth into the team, go to Silverstone this year and in five years win the whole thing.”

Backed by high profiles

The Formula Student event has been growing in reputation in recent years and is backed by a number of high profile names from within the world of motorsport, most notably Ross Brawn, team principal for Mercedes F1 team and the man behind Michael Schumacher’s success at Ferrari and Jenson Button’s World Championship title for Brawn GP.

Richard and his team will take to the Silverstone tarmac only a week after the British Grand Prix is staged there, and will compete against 141 other cars from across the globe. However, only 24 are electric.

Richard, an automotive engineering postgraduate student, was clear about his team’s objectives for the event. He said: “Our target is to do better than our main rival, the other UK electric team, because they’re also a first-year team and they’re electric as well.”

Needs whole package

Using an electric car shows the team are concerned about the environment and are looking to keep their carbon footprint to a minimum.

To be successful in the Formula Student competition, teams must compete in a series of events testing their speed around the track as well as their acceleration.

However, it is not only judged on how the car performs. Teams also need a strong business plan that shows the car can be made and sold viably. To help with this business plan, a number of students from Kingston’s Faculty of Business and Law have been drafted in.

Calling out for sponsors

The team got funding from the university but are looking for more sponsorship. They hope a live stream of the car being built of YouTube, with cameras situated around the car, will do the trick.

Alexander Pearce, part of the media team, said: “The key point for sponsors is that they see how their sponsorship is aiding us. So say someone has sponsored us with an engine they can say ‘that’s where it’s going and that’s what is happening’. The sponsor can be confident with us as we know what we’re doing with it and we are using it wisely.”

The hard-working and determined team is fully committed to the time-consuming project. Richard added, “Basically whatever happens we will be done, even if it means we have to spend all day and night, we are going to get this car finished.”

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