LUMotorsport is Loughborough University’s Formula Student team, comprising solely of student volunteers who design and build a single seat racing car from the ground up each year. Lane Motorsport, which is a division of Lane Electronics, is one of LUMotorsport’s sponsors and over the years it has been reporting with interest the progress made by the team as it develops each season’s car. Lane Motorsport supplies the Loughborough team with a variety of Souriau’s high performance 8STA circular connectors as well as the relevant assembly tooling.
Formula Student is an annual engineering competition in which student teams from around the world design, build, test, and race a small-scale formula style racing car. The cars are judged on a number of criteria including engineering design, technical inspection, acceleration, endurance and business presentation.
The 2017 car – the LFS17 – helped the team have what it describes as a successful season. The car kept LFS16’s strengths and, importantly, improved on its weaknesses. The most improved area was the custom turbocharged engine, where power was increased by approximately 30bhp with much improved driveability.
At the first event at Silverstone, the car put in a strong performance ending up in 13th place despite some technical issues. The powertrain continued to attract praise from competitors and judges as it was one of the most powerful packages in the Formula Student Paddock. This meant the team were able to finish the Acceleration event in 4th place overall, missing out on a podium position by 0.002s in the top 6 run off.
The next event was Formula Student Czech Republic where LFS17 looked set for a strong finish until a stub axle failed during the endurance event. Prior to the failure, LSF17 put in another strong acceleration performance, improving by 0.3s over the time set in the UK event to finish 9th in a very competitive field. The team secured an overall finishing position of 24th.
A replacement part was fitted to the car and setup changes were made to prevent another failure from occurring, enabling the team to compete at Hockenheim in Germany.
The German event is one of the most prestigious events in the world, attracting an extremely competitive field. By this point, many of the car’s problems had been resolved and LFS17 put in a very good performance, finishing 34th overall.
Looking forward to the 2018 season
2017 was the first year that an LUMotorsport car had a full aerodynamics package (front wing, rear wing and floor). Therefore, the aim this year is to improve on all three by reducing weight, producing consistent downforce and revising the cooling system for increased aerodynamic freedom.
The unique turbocharged Triumph Daytona engine delivered an impressive 88bhp and 4th place in FSUK acceleration last year. LUMotorsport is aiming for further gains in 2018 as a result of securing the use of an engine test cell within the AAE department at the University.
The suspension geometry on LFS18 will be completely different to its predecessor as it will be fitted with 10 inch wheels, instead of 13 inch. The change will reduce the cars weight significantly and the suspension team is working hard to ensure that mechanical grip is not compromised.
Lane Motorsport specializes in electrical and electronic connector solutions for all types of motorsport platforms offering a comprehensive package of Souriau 8STA connectors alongside accessories made by HellermannTyton and Weald Electronics. These include heat shrink boots, nut plates, gaskets and ultra-lightweight protective caps – all designed to work alongside the Souriau motorsport connectors.
We hope to bring you more information on Loughborough’s LFS18 as the year progresses.