Students from the University of Wolverhampton will form part of a brand new team set to debut in the Protyre Formula Renault Championship in 2015, an exciting enterprise linked to the provision of a range of Motorsport and Automotive Engineering courses at the Telford Innovation Campus.
Entering the ultra-competitive championship under the banner University of Wolverhampton Racing, abbreviated as UWR, the squad will be headed-up by David Tucker who is the Principal Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the institution’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.
Shane Kelly, who raced in Formula Renault UK back in 2002 and 2003 before going on to win the Club Formula 3 title in 2006, prior to establishing a career as professional driver on TV and film sets, will pilot the UWR car in Protyre Formula Renault next year. Some of Kelly’s recent screen work has included driving rules in the box office smash ‘Rush’ and hit film ‘Fury’.
Over the past few years, Tucker and Kelly have been working together in the 750 Motor Club Formula 4 Championship and Monopostos and will now extend their partnership into Protyre Formula Renault where the students – who will balance involvement in the championship with their degree studies – will be putting theory into practice on the mechanical side of the operation.
“This kind of undertaking is a huge challenge for seasoned engineers, so for students to be placed into this high pressure environment is a real challenge”, said Tucker, “However, what is learned from this experience is invaluable in terms of life and teamwork skills.
“In addition to this, it gives students the chance to overcome the original catch-22 faced by graduates whereby they cannot gain work placement until they have experience, but cannot get the necessary experience without being given a work placement. This undertaking allows for real-world experience to be gained while in education, giving them a real edge in terms of future employment and prospects.”
Based at Telford Innovation Campus, the University of Wolverhampton’s engineering department already undertakes a high volume of work for a number of prestigious high-end motorsport teams in the production of solid metals from powders. It is also a world leader in surrounding technologies, such as ALM – Additive Layer Manufacturing.
The new suite of bespoke courses which will begin in 2015 have been specifically designed to provide industry with the graduates they require across a variety of disciplines, such as Automotive Engineering and Motorsport Engineering for example.
Importantly, the new courses have a heavy focus on the application of technical theory to real world situations and the students’ involvement in Protyre Formula Renault will provide the opportunity for their respective project work to be centred around the study of the racing car and its data. UWR will take delivery of its FR 2.0, purchased from top team Fortec Motorsport, next week.
Simon North, championship promoter of Protyre Formula Renault, commented: “This is a fantastic project from the team at the University of Wolverhampton and we’re absolutely thrilled they have selected Protyre Formula Renault to assist in the ‘hands-on’ side of their new motorsport courses.
“We have had students engineering cars in the past in the championship, and they’ve always been a great addition to the rich tapestry of Formula Renault. We’re looking forward to working with David and his students, and delighted to see Shane return to Formula Renault more than 10 years after he first competed with us in Formula Renault UK.”
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin.