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Two teams from the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering took the first and second position on the podium in the second race of the UniFi Motorsport competition.

Team Hill and Team Mansell, from the University are competing against teams from the UK, as well as Portugal and Italy to design top performing Formula 1 car bodies which are tested in a virtual wind tunnel.

Photo Credit: University of Leicester

Team Hill, who has won the first two races of the five-race season, is made up of Philip S. Noble (team leader), Parthil Patel, Georgeous Gabriel, Michael Brooker and Jamie Gollins.

Team Mansell has taken third and second place in the first two races of the championship. Their team is made up of James Thresh (team leader), Nicholas J. Watts, Eeva Karner, Kyle G.M. Nicholls, Tendai T. Kachale, and Shane Perera.

Team Hill leads the championship, followed by Team Mansell, who share second place with Team Fangio from Italy.

UniFi Motorsport was formed in 2014 to provide a range of support services to Engineering students seeking their first role in Motorsport Aerodynamic Design.

The teams taking part in this year’s competition are working to current FIA Formula 1 specifications. The designs which were rolled out before the official Formula 1 teams, give an insight into how a new look Formula 1 car will perform, in terms of aerodynamic performance on race day.

The teams used SolidWorks to design the new surfaces and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) from TotalSim Ltd to evaluate and refine their aerodynamic performance.

Dr Aldo Rona, Associate Professor of Fluid Dynamics and Turbomachinery in the University of Leicester’s Department of Engineering, said: “I am delighted with the teams’ achievements and the contribution each team member has made to achieve podium positions in both races this season.

“The UniFi Motorsport competition has enabled students to grow their fluid dynamic and CAD design skills in a virtual Formula 1 department, beyond our standard curriculum. Their groupwork is a delight to mentor and it is inspirational for their younger peers.”

Kyle Nicholls from Team Mansell, said: “The project has enhanced my personal student learning through allowing time for independent research and implementation of that research on engineering software such as SolidWorks, a personal interest of mine.

“I have developed teamwork skills through collaborating with team members from different backgrounds, something industry and potential employers will require. The project should provide the basic understanding of the development and relentless research put into motorsports aerodynamics that I will need to pursue a career in the sector.”

The UniFi Motorsport activity at the University of Leicester is supported by a Visiting Professor award from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The next race in the championship is on Friday 17 March 2017, followed by 17 May and 23 June.