Birmingham’s unknown team

One of UOB’s most successful teams is also one of the most unknown

Behind the glitz and glamour of the American Football and Hockey teams is a team that very few will know about and even less care. However, in terms of relative success they are one of our best.

The University Formula Student Team is a group of budding engineers, businessmen and anyone else (it’s open to all) who each year design, build and race a single seater formula car, much like a poor man’s Formula 1 car, from scratch. Poor man is an apt phrase as each summer they go head to head with a large number of continental (a polite way of saying German) teams that run huge teams on big budgets.

In fact at Silverstone this year Birmingham came 9th/98 teams for cost and sustainability (put vaguely they have the 9th smallest budget) whilst managing 33rd overall. For those who think the university spend too much or have an environmental conscience, this should help change your mind.

The core members of our team will go on to work for the car companies you’ve all heard about, Jaguar, Aston Martin and BMW.

Sometimes even girls are allowed near the car (for publicity purposes only obvs!!)

However behind all this positivity are some worries. The university has often seriously considered cutting in half the budget they provide (they haven’t yet). The team and support has never really taken off in its 17 years, they survive but don’t thrive. But this could be about to change with one of the largest take ups yet.

With a decent size team there could be real success this July at Silverstone. There has also been a big drive in media and business this year, which should help the team to grow.

Keeping the sponsors happy

Keeping the sponsors happy

But it’s not all work. I had a quick word with this year’s team leader Andy Glencross.

What has been your greatest moment in UBR? My first go in the car.

And your worst moment? Having to cut the nose cone in half by hand and glue it back together.

Funniest? Well a couple, I came out of a German beer tent at comp and tried to pick a fight with a BBQ. I lost. And there’s the photos.

The advantage of having a lot of engineers about

The advantage of having a lot of engineers about

So hopefully the team will continue to grow and compete. The best way to show your support is to join the team. There are opportunities for all, you don’t have to be a car wiz, and god knows I’m not. But if that’s not your thing and you still want to show support, follow them on Twitter @ubracing.

Watch this space!