Praise for Schaeffler from UK Formula Student teams

05 April 2019

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Praise for Schaeffler from UK Formula Student teams UK Formula Student teams have expressed their gratitude to Schaeffler UK for the company’s ongoing support in supplying precision bearings for their racing cars backed up by invaluable technical support.

In 2019, Schaeffler UK has again supplied bearings and technical support to 10 UK Formula Student teams, including Sheffield University, Sheffield Hallam University, Bath University (Team Bath Racing and Team Bath Racing Electric), University of Birmingham (UBR and UBR Electric), Southampton University, University of Strathclyde, University of Portsmouth, and University of Loughborough. Schaeffler is fully committed to helping attract young people into engineering. This is why the company has supported Formula Student teams in the UK since 1998. Over the years, Schaeffler engineers have provided advice, guidance and technical support to the student teams.

On 17–21 July 2019, more than 100 teams from around the world will gather at Silverstone for the Formula Student 2019 competition. Run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in partnership with various industrial sponsor companies, Formula Student is Europe’s biggest educational motorsport event and celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2018. The competition promotes careers and excellence in engineering, by challenging university students to design, build, develop, market and compete as a team with a small, single-seater racing car. The competition comprises challenges and events (including an all-electric racing car class) with a separate amount of points allocated for each. These include, among others, tests to assess cars’ fuel economy, acceleration, endurance, as well as the design and business case prepared by each of the teams.

The bearings supplied by Schaeffler to the UK Formula Student teams are predominantly used in the wheel hubs and suspension systems of the racing cars, as well as, in some cases, the steering controls. In addition, Schaeffler UK supports the teams with technical advice and knowledge transfer.

One team that is benefiting from Schaeffler’s support is Team Bath Racing Electric (University of Bath). The team’s Business Manager, Afkar Ansar comments: “As an electric team striving to optimise our mechanical package, Schaeffler sponsorship shows a mechanical pedigree within the vehicle’s design that is backed up by quality of parts which have been designed and manufactured with all bearing data to hand, making for a more integrated overall package.

“Knowing we have the backing of Schaeffler as a sponsor who supports via in-kind parts and advice gives us the confidence to design within boundaries that aren’t limited by quality or uncertainty of bearing parts.”

Reputation for reliability

When asked what made their team approach Schaeffler for sponsorship, Balraj Basra and Thomas Gilles, Heads of Suspension at Southampton University Formula Student Racing Team responded: “The suspension department requires the use of around 100 bearings across the car. Given the demanding conditions in which the car is run, through multiple competitions over the summer, we require high-quality, durable products. Schaeffler seemed an obvious partner given their reputation for reliability and the wide range of products they could provide to help the team.

“Having Schaeffler as sponsor removes the financial burden associated with high-quality components. The security of being able to select from a wide variety of products allows the team to design bespoke components for these products.”

Andrew Evans, Team Leader of UBRacing (University of Birmingham) answered: “As a sponsor, Schaeffler allows us to build the car to a higher standard, giving us confidence in designing components around the bearings it provides.”

Patrick Nicholson of Team Bath Racing (Bath University) replied: “Previous team members had advised us that Schaeffler’s products were extremely reliable and that we could obtain help and advice from the company when required. Bearings are used across the car in assemblies such as those for our hubs, rockers and steering, so it is crucial to find a reliable source with reasonable lead times.”

The teams are free to choose products from the Schaeffler catalogue when designing their cars. Matthew Brown, Technical Director of Sheffield University’s Formula Student team underlines the importance of Schaeffler UK’s support: “Knowing we can choose anything from the Schaeffler catalogue has given us a lot of design freedom and as a result we were able to realise a new suspension concept. Furthermore, the support we receive in terms of design guides has helped us massively in selecting the best bearings for the job…Schaeffler is proactive, quick to support us and have exceeded our expectations!”

Samuel Seabrooke, Sheffield Hallam University Formula Student Racing Team, is equally enthusiastic about Schaeffler’s support: “The [Schaeffler] sales team has acted promptly to our requests and provided delivery dates so that we can factor the parts into our manufacturing schedule.”

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