The Align Racing Team at UiA presented its newly constructed race car this week which will soon take part in the world’s largest student competition on the Silverstone Circuit in the UK. The car is named after the character Ludvig from the “Pinchcliffe” movies and stories.
"This is amazing. Before we started, I knew nothing about cars, and I did not even have a driver’s license. Now I have taken part in building a race car," mechatronics student Vinuja Premkumar said.
Together with 50-60 other UiA students, she could proudly present the first Formula student car constructed at UiA.
This car will in the beginning of July compete against 128 other student racing teams from all over the world in the races at the legendary Silverstone Circuit in the UK.
The members of the racing team received a well-deserved round of applause when the car was unveiled in front of completely filled lecture hall on Campus Grimstad. The team has bachelor’s and master’s students from two faculties and from ten different study programmes.
All who were present got to see the car for the first time and watch it roll out. In two-three weeks, the engine should also be ready. But everything about this project takes a lot of time, and many students spend many, many hours working on it.
During the last few days, some students have been working around the clock on finishing moulding the body.
"Just this month I have probably spent around 70 hours on it," Premkumar said, who is part of the engine group and has also worked on welding together the different aluminium parts of the car.
Ludvig will be participating in several competitive events. Its endurance will be tested on a 22-kilometre-long track and its manoeuvrability on an 800-meter-long autocross track. Its acceleration will be tested on a straight section and on a figure-of-eight circuit.
The cars will also be tested on fuel economy in addition to design, cost and sustainability and finally on business presentation.
"We are very proud to have created an organisation that not only has built a car, but has also handled design, finance, HR, marketing and management," team leader Andreas Wæhle said. He also told about a year filled with trial and error.
"Failing can have a positive effect. We learn from it, and we have become good at adapting and coming up with new solutions," Wæhle said.
J.B. Ugland Holding is the main sponsor of the Align Racing team, and both owner Johan Benad Ugland and Group Director Johan Martin Ugland are extremely impressed by the car and the team’s presentations.
"All of us in the Ugland family are a little more interested in cars than most, but now I was completely blown away. It is impressive to see how the students have managed to combine theory and practice and putting it all together," Johan Martin Ugland said.
"I wish I was a student again so I could have joined this adventure."
"Seeing the passion and how such a large group can make this happen together is amazing," Johan Benad Ugland said, who after the presentation eagerly took pictures of the new car.
Rector Frank Reichert spoke proudly to the students at the unveiling.
"Starting to solve challenges one does not completely know the scale of. Having an idea, discovering something new and learning by solving problems. That might just be the most important experience you can bring with you for later in life,” Reichert said.
Ludvig’s manoeuvrability will be tested on Silverstone this summer, but hopefully the surroundings will not be as tight as the lecture hall’s exit area.