Formula Student is an international competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. To compete, teams of university undergraduate students must design, build and race a single-seater racing vehicle. At Loughborough University, Formula Student is an extra-curricular activity, allowing students to apply what they have learned as part of their degree, in a real-world engineering challenge.
LFS18 is Loughborough University’s current Formula Student race vehicle. Throughout the summer of 2018, the vehicle competed at Silverstone, Zalaegerszeg in Hungary, and Most in the Czech Republic. Driven by students from the university, it brought home the coveted award for Top Individual Driver and earned fifth place in two elements of the UK competition.
This vehicle is powered by a customised turbocharged Triumph 607 cc triple-cylinder engine, which utilises the engine block from a Daytona 675. All combustion-engine Formula Student vehicles must use a 20mm air intake restrictor that translates into the current engine delivering 88 Nm of torque and 91hp. The overall power to weight ratio comes in at over 400hp per tonne. During the Silverstone event, the engine powered the car through a 75-metres straight-line acceleration in 4.09 seconds.
The chassis is a hybrid design, utilising carbon-fibre/Nomex sandwich panels and steel tubes, allowing for a torsional stiffness of 2,300 Nm/deg. Power and weight are transmitted to the Hoosier tyres through custom suspension components and a pull-rod linkage to the springs and dampers. Driver controls are bespoke and designed to sit within the constraints of the cockpit area. All driver information is relayed through a seven-inch screen mounted on a quick release steering wheel.
Loughborough is a ‘Top 10’ UK university, with an international reputation for its engineering. The university recruits more STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students as a proportion of the total undergraduate population than anywhere else in the UK. The current Loughborough Formula Student team comprises 31 students, studying engineering degree programmes in the composite subject area of Automotive, Aeronautical, Electrical, Materials, Mechanical and Systems.
2018 marked the 20th anniversary for Formula Student in the UK and the vehicle on display here in the rotunda this week is Loughborough University’s 15th example to enter the competition.
Displayed courtesy of Loughborough University from Monday 1 October to Sunday 7 October 2018.