8 June 2017 15:07

A prestigious foundation has sponsored the aims of Lancaster Engineering students to build an electric powered racing car with a £10,000 gift donation.

The Lancaster Racing Team is building its very first electric car to participate in the international IMechE Formula Student competition at the famous Silverstone circuit this year.

The team, made up of fourth-year Masters Engineering students, decided to shift from petrol engines to electric motors to help develop knowledge and skills needed for the rapidly changing automotive industry.

A generous donation by the Fort Foundation, established by Burnley-based Fort Vale Engineering, is supporting the ambitious project, with additional parts fundamental for a competitive, safe and environmental designed car.

Professor Derek Seward, academic supervisor of the Lancaster Racing Team, said: “Our student team has taken on a considerable technical challenge to build its first ever electric powered racing car.

“This is a very ambitious project that will enable our students to put their considerable skills and knowledge to practice. Their efforts are helped considerably by the support of industrial sponsors, such as the Fort Foundation.”

The team is compiling specialist equipment for a dedicated lab for electric car design and fabrication, which will be beneficial for future student teams.

Representatives from the racing team visited Fort Vale Engineering and were given a tour of their facilities before receiving a sponsorship cheque.

Abigail Carson, leader of the Lancaster Racing Team, said: “We would like to thank Fort Vale Engineering for touring us around their impressive facilities - it gave us a fascinating insight into their industry. We are very thankful for their support this year and will enjoy keeping them up to date with our progress.”

Trustees of the Fort Foundation said: “The Formula Student project reflects the very essence of the Fort Foundation and its principles, not only developing engineering skills in budding Brunels, but also pioneering hi-tech environmentally friendly solutions to the benefit of future industries and the wider world.”

The car, when fully assembled, will have power capabilities of around 72kW, motors and batteries that operate at 110 volts and an electrical system able to handle about 800 amps. It will race against cars built by around 100 other universities from around the world in July.

More information about the Lancaster Racing Team can be found by visiting http://www.engineering.lancs.ac.uk/lancaster-racing/