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Students build race car from scratch at major show

27 January 2012

Students from Glyndŵr University attracted global attention when they built their own race car from scratch in four days at the UK’s biggest automotive show.

The attempt by a three-strong team was the first project of its kind to be carried out in front of a live audience at the Autosport International racing car show.

The project was the result of a partnership between Glyndŵr University and Wrexham Industrial Estate-based Polybush, a company which manufactures polyurethane suspension bushes for motor vehicles.

Polybush works closely with Glyndŵr University’s engineering department on a daily basis and combined its industry knowledge and contacts with the technical ability of the department. Polybush also sponsor the Production GTI Championship that the students will go on to race in.

In front of more than 25,000 visitors at Birmingham’s NEC, David Carroll, Mickael Paris and Lee Richardson started out at 10am on Thursday, 12 January, with just a pile of component parts needed to the car.

The car was completed to race-ready standard on Sunday night – and now sits at Glyndŵr University waiting for its first competitive outing.

Olivier Durieux, senior lecturer in engineering at Glyndŵr University, said: “The project was a massive success and we were delighted with the response we got.

“Building a race car from scratch in such a short space of time is no easy feat. The students worked tremendously hard all week and were made up when everything finally came together on Sunday.

“Autosport International is the biggest show in the industry so it was a great chance for the students to put their skills to the test in front of a captive audience.

“Our stand was alongside F1 cars and other cars people could only dream of owning, so it was a big attraction simply because it was an affordable project which most of the visiting public could relate to.”

The students, from Glyndŵr University’s Perfomance Car Technology degree course, had their car featured in national trade magazines and pictures of the finished vehicle sent to more than 4,000 followers on the show’s Twitter feed.

Polybush have been working with the university for three years on various projects, including training courses and providing work experience opportunities for students.

The company is currently running a KTP project with the university.

Hayley Smith, sales manager at Polybush, said: "Polybush attend Autosport International every year and we thought it would be great to get the university and the students involved.

"We work closely with the university and it's fantastic to see the students interacting in a commercial environment.

"The students preparing the car worked hard throughout the four-day show and are a credit to the university." 

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