Cape Town - Engineering students from the Cape Speed team at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology have unveiled the racing car with which they will compete in the Formula Student competition at Silverstone in Britain.
Team captain Cyprian Onochie, an MTech mechanical engineering student, said they were optimistic about their chances at the event next month.
The team has developed a racing car, working from its concept in March 2013 to Monday night’s unveiling.
Part of Onochie’s responsibilities included the development of an onboard data logger and its input sensors to obtain and store data of the vehicle’s performance.
“This competition goes beyond driving.”
Onochie explained: “Seventy percent of the points arte warded for other aspects such as endurance.”
He added that the whole team had practised on its previous car to sharpen their skills on the race track.
“We prepared everybody for physical fitness, but when it comes to the driver it is based on weight, because there is a weight limit.
“The team also used old go-karts from sponsors to practise. The competition is beyond driving though.”
Pierre Arries from VW Motorsport advised the team of 19 to have discipline, dedication and determination.
“My message to students is that they have the opportunity to make it.”
“Everyone in motorsport wants to be a Lewis Hamilton, but it doesn’t always work that way.
“There are other opportunities though. When it comes to engineering we don’t have to stand back to anybody in the world.”
Arries added that there was no reason that the team couldn’t reach the top.
Professor Oscar Philander, director of TIA-Adaptronics AMTL, said their main focus in 2014 was to build a lighter car that was faster and more fuel-efficient.
“We are going for gold and aiming for the top!”
“We used a full carbon-fibre cache. “All materials, composite materials, have been tested and approved.”
He added that, in the two years since their first racing car, they had achieved a lot.
“There are many pitfalls, but it has brought the team together.
Philander said they came up with the design in March last year.
“We completed the finishing touches this morning.”
Felicity Harris, Cape Speed team academic adviser, said they had learnt a lot since 2012.
“We have implemented several ideas; a lot of hard work and long hours go into motorsport. The benefits for students are that it’s not only about engineering, but they grow through the competition and become independent learners.”
She added that she would like to see CPUT compete every two years and eventually have its entry run by an all-student team.