A racing car designed by University of Sussex students has been given a colourful makeover by an internationally recognised artist. The car was wrapped in a painting by María Inés Aguirre(also known as MIA), an Argentinian artist known for her eye-catching and vibrant abstract works.
Built by engineering students for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Formula Student project, a global student motorsport competition, the car for 2015 was unveiled on 9 June at a launch event held on the University’s campus.
The Formula Student competition is the world’s largest student motorsport event and challenges young engineers to design, build and race a single-seat racing car in one year. Students in Sussex’s School of Engineering and Informatics have been working around the clock to get their car ready for an event at the Silverstone racetrack from 9-12 July, where they will face 134 other student teams from around the world in a series of tests.
During the event in Northamptonshire the undergraduates will be judged not only on how fast their car is, but also on the cost and eco‑friendliness of their design, plus they will even have to give a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style presentation to industry experts on how their vehicle can be marketed to amateur racing drivers.
MIA, who has previously painted a Steinway concert grand piano as well as several life-size animal sculptures for cities across Europe, commented: “I always wanted to paint a car because I like to paint velocity. That’s what I was trying to achieve here – that each brushstroke would be full of movement.
“I always work very fast – I felt like I was driving the car with colours.”
Final-year undergraduate Harry McVicar, leader of Mobil1 Team Sussex, said: “After months of preparation, we’re all very excited about taking the car to Silverstone. Whether we win or lose, the event will still be a lot of fun.”
As for the car’s vibrant new look, Harry added: “MIA’s design for the car looks great – it will really help us to stand out on the race track.”
Peter Field, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, and Cllr Lynda Hyde, the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, were present at the launch event to celebrate the work of the University’s young engineers.
The Mayor said: “This is a marvellous project to encourage and assist the students in gaining practical experience, and in applying the skills they are learning. And what an exciting project it is!”
The Lord Lieutenant added: “This car is an amazing demonstration of the students’ skills, and shows great teamwork. The students have been dedicated to getting it right, which should put them in pole position in terms of winning the race at Silverstone.”
The launch event was organised by Mobil1 Team Sussex and facilitated by the School’s Media Technology Lab(MTL).
The full video of the event can be seen below…