Team Bath Racing (TBR) have unveiled their 2015 challenger which will compete in Formula Student events around Europe this summer. The launch is the culmination of 16 months of hard work by a team of 53 students, led by Mechanical Engineering student Tom Peirson-Smith and means the 2015 challenger is the second ever University of Bath entry to be a running car at its unveiling.
Formula Student started in the 1980’s before reaching the UK in 2000 and there are very few design constraints, meaning that designers have lots of freedom when designing a car. The competition has now grown to 598 teams with 15 competitions around the world and the 2015 University of Bath entry has been built from scratch, not developed from last year’s model as is the method at many other institutions. The project is extra-curricular so all students balance the TBR work around their degree and this year 24 finalists who were involved with the project based their dissertations on a certain aspect of the car to increase their understanding of it.
One of the main aims of the 2015 team has been to reduce the weight of the car as Formula Student regulations do not specify a lower weight limit. This has seen the TBR team incorporate new wheels, suspension and steering wheel into their design. This year’s challenger also has a turbo charger, the first time such a device has appeared on a Bath car since 2004. New rule changes for 2015 mean that the wings are lower and smaller than in previous year’s, so the team have included a diffuser on the car for the first ever time.
The next month will see the TBR15 car tested on various aspects before its first competition at Silverstone from 9-12 July in Formula Student UK. The team will also take part in Formula Student Austria at the Red Bull Ring on 10-13 August before heading to the Circuit de Catalunya on 27-29 August for their final race at Formula Student Spain. The events involve two tests, static and dynamic, with the static test involving a presentation and the dynamic test involving a series of challenges for the car itself. The challenges involve testing the car’s acceleration, speed, cornering and endurance so that the most rounded challenger comes out on top.
The 2014 TBR project finished 47th in the world and the top UK team, meaning there is increased pressure on this year’s team. However, TBR15 remain confident that they can do even better with project manager Tom Peirson-Smith telling bathimpact that he feels the month of testing the team have will be crucial to their success with the potential for the car to be “challenging for victory” if all goes smoothly. Peirson-Smith continued that the team were “really excited” about the prospect of competing at three Formula 1 venues and that they “can’t wait to see how well we can do”. The project manager said that the last four weeks have been a “crazy rush” but that the project “is the stuff we want to do, it’s our dream to build a racing car”.
You can keep up to date with how the TBR15 team get on this summer by following their facebook page.
Photo credits: Sam Short