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The University of Southampton

Southampton Formula Student racers secure BP sponsorship with ambitious 2020 vision

Published: 22 November 2019
SUFST by a racing car
Southampton University Formula Student Team

Southampton University Formula Student Team (SUFST) has been named the winner of a national competition for valuable BP sponsorship in the 2020 season.

The student racing team, which unites engineers across faculty disciplines, is targeting silverware in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Formula Student competition with its Stag VII model.

SUFST outperformed five rivals in a design presentation at BP’s Pangbourne Technology Centre to be awarded the cash sponsorship, which includes fuel and lubricants for the year.

“This is a monumental achievement for the team,” SUFST Team Principal Chris Sheffer explains. “This result provides our team with financial support but it also re-affirms our direction and design philosophy for the year.”

The national BP competition for Formula Student teams included a report detailing the team’s targets for the year, focussing on powertrain developments. Southampton students pitched in Pangbourne alongside their 2019 car, the Stag VI, which smashed the team’s season record this summer.

Andy Green, of BP Research & Innovation, says: “Congratulations to Southampton for their success in our sponsorship competition. We were really impressed with the design work which they presented as well as the professionalism that the team showed throughout. Their utilisation of simulation and testing to inform their design direction was particularly impressive. We look forward to working with the team in the coming year and seeing them at Formula Student UK.”

SUFST students design and manufacture a new car for each summer’s competitions. The racers accrued 676.5 of 1,000 points to be ranked as the top UK team – and 10th overall – at August’s Formula Student Czech Republic.

“The whole team is focussed on a podium finish next summer at Formula Student UK,” Chris says. “We have clear goals set out to achieve this aim and will work tirelessly to ensure we end the year celebrating converting seven years of dedication into silverware at Silverstone.

“We are currently transitioning from the concept to the final design and optimisation stage. After the Christmas break, core parts of the car, such as our carbon monocoque chassis, will start to be manufactured. We are also testing Stag VI on the track, dynamometer and in the University’s largest wind tunnel. This provides us with new ideas that - if successful - we can integrate into Stag VII.”

Chris has been involved with the team since 2015’s Stag III and is hoping to finish on a high as he enters the final year of his MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics degree.

“SUFST represents the perfect balance of fun and learning, while focussed on an international competition,” he says. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the team. Being part of Formula Student has given me the perfect outlet to apply the knowledge developed in my engineering degree. I would fully encourage anyone to get involved!”

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