An Aberdeen university motorsport team has raced its way to take 9th place in a prestigious competition.
TAU Racing, run by Aberdeen University students, took home the accolade at an international competition held at the historic Silverstone race track in Towcester, home of the Formula One British Grand Prix.
TAU, along with other teams from across the world including America and Europe, took to the track at Silverstone for the Formula Student UK event, celebrating the weekend’s 20th anniversary.
Arran Strutt, the 21-year-old project manager, said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic to have placed where we did, especially given the obstacles put in front of us.
“We worked out that it took our 60 members a total of 11,000 hours to put this car together from the ground up.”
The cars themselves, which cost TAU between £20,000 and £30,000, are built and rebuilt from scratch every year, using the knowledge of the students.
Arran admits that some of the pricier parts may be kept, but the majority is all brand new.
He said: “Each car is built from scratch. We manufacture the chassis ourself, and fully design the car from the ground up.
“Sometimes we might even use systems that we’ve designed as part of our course.
“Things are held over, in terms of expensive components, but the whole design is fresh.”
The team overcame a setback on its Aberdeenshire test track to take part in the competition, which took place between July 13 and 15. The day before the competition, during test laps, a wheel assembly collapsed, prompting the skeleton crew to replace it with one used on a previous car.
Arran said: “It was a very tense atmosphere, we had a skeleton crew of about five or six there, and it took a really big push to get everything sorted.
“It’s fair to say that they all did a great job.”
Far from being an engineering-only event, Arran also spoke of how multi-faceted the competition is, with each team having to submit a business case, including costings to judges, as well as securing sponsors to cover the costs of the car.
The mechanical engineering student said: “We have business students as part of the team, who are tasked with putting together a business case, as if we were going to mass produce the car.”
Arran also mentioned the positive impact the team has on students.
He said: “There’s a huge student development side.
“Engineering students can apply theoretical knowledge that you learn in class on to the car, and you can learn other skills that you might not, like the manufacturing side.”
Professor Igor Guz, head of the university’s school of engineering, said: “I am delighted that TAU Racing has achieved another great result in this year’s Formula Student competition. The result is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the team, and demonstrates the opportunities open to students when they come to study at one of the UK’s top universities for engineering.”