It still amazes me how much you have the chance to get involved with at Bath. I am constantly wishing that I just had a bit more time in order to cram in another society or sport but I am barely being able to keep up with the ones I’m already signed up for. Today I’m going to share with you an awesome experience I’ve been lucky enough to be apart of for the last few months: Team Bath Racing.
If you’re going to study Mechanical Engineering at Bath then the chances are you will have heard of Formula Student. Or if you haven’t, you definitely will by the time you arrive at Bath. Team Bath Racing is the top Formula Student team in the UK. For those of you not in the MechEng sphere Formula Student is a competition where students design, build and run a single seater formula race car from scratch. It’s high tech stuff (and as a business student it’s completely over my head) but anyone with a love of motorsport, business or mechanical engineering has the capacity to help out in some way.
Over the last month I’ve actually been lucky enough to take part in a few tests trialling out to be a driver for the team. The day starts with the team checking over the car to make sure it’s both safe and set up for optimum performance before loading it up into the truck to transport to Colerne, which is a local airfield where the team tests the car (about 10 minutes from the university). Once we arrive we set up the course on a stretch of unused taxi way using cones to create a twisty test track designed to challenge the car and driver. After this we do a track walk (it always helps to know where you’re going) before getting kitted up, helmets on and belted into the car.
At the first test we actually had to do an ejection test (no there isn’t an ejection seat unfortunately) but you did have to be able to get out of the car in under 5 seconds in case of fire. Unfortunately on my first attempt I only managed 6 seconds meaning I died in a petrol fuelled inferno, but the second practice I managed 4 seconds thank goodness. There were 3 drivers testing out on the day, myself, Max (Super Fast German) and Mark (who races at MSA level) so competition was very high! It was a great experience to be able to drive the car though, which was actually very nippy for it’s size and a great challenge as getting used to driving the (as Top Gear would describe it) flappy paddle gearbox was particularly tricky!
It’s an awesome piece of machinery - carbon fibre monocoque, full data system - the lot! The scale of the project is just crazy for a student initiative. But I think it’s an absolutely brilliant example of why you might want to consider studying at Bath - not only is it a world class university it also offers you the opportunity to get involved in what it is you love doing. No matter what it is, you can almost be sure there will be a group of equally enthusiastic people who want to get involved in the same area, and with a fantastic Students Union behind you, the sky is the limit (there is actually a gliding club so it really is). And if the sport, club, society that you want to be a part of isn’t already here then you can create it yourself!
So how do you get involved in all these crazy activities you ask? Well, during freshers week there are sports and societies fairs happening all week which is a great chance to go round and talk to all the different clubs and find out what they’re about. Once you find a few you like, sign up and attend a taster session! After that if you still think it’s something you’d like to get involved in you just need to buy your membership fee (it’s really not much for what you get don’t worry!) and away you go!
I hope this post helps, and maybe I’ll see you at the race track next year!