The Story Behind the Car on the Wall
Visitors to Handling Concepts’ workshop and those who have seen it in our photos and videos often comment on the racing car that we have hanging high on the wall inside our factory. The car is more than a mascot. One of the owners of Handling Concepts, Director David Green, designed and built it in 2002 when he was a member of the University of Bath Formula Student Team.
This car is now liveried in Handling Concepts branding but arrived in 2019, having been resting for 17 years in a former lecturer’s barn. Apart from the handsome new colour scheme, the car has a chromoly spaceframe chassis with honeycomb sandwich panels making up the floor and firewall. It has a Honda CBR 600 motorbike engine which was modified to have a dry sump and a fuel injection system. The suspension consists of torsion bars and bespoke dampers developed by Nitron for the team. Except for the dampers, all the parts were custom designed and manufactured by the team of students. Fabrication, welding, machining, and bodywork had to be achieved during free time between lectures and project work.
After completion and testing, the car was entered into an international Formula Student Competition. Each team comprises of undergraduates from universities around the world. The cars are judged on several performance related measures including acceleration, fastest lap time, fastest time to drive a tight figure of 8 course, and a 22km time trial endurance challenge.
Although the team didn’t win, they were still very proud of the car that they produced. It was a great leap forward from the previous year, which was Bath University’s first every entry. The team used the strengths and abilities of different members of the team to create a car that could keep pace with the competition.
The Bath Formula Student Team of 2002 worked so well together that 6 of the members then formed an engineering design consultancy. The car holds great sentimental value for David and Handling Concepts is proud to display it in pride of place in our workshop. It is a constant reminder of what can be achieved when a team pulls together to meet and overcome a challenge. In the case of the car, to dynamically design the right solution to have a chance to win the competition. The car significantly also echoes some of Handling Concepts’ core values, innovation, collaboration, and professionalism.
20 years on, Handling Concepts has a strong relationship with the University of Bath and offers placement year opportunities to engineering undergraduates each year some of whom join us in full time roles after graduating. This year we are delighted to be a gold sponsor of the 2022 Team Bath Racing Electric Car, especially as a former placement student Eddie Waggott is part of the 2022 team! You can catch up with their progress at www.teambathracingelectric.com/ or support them at the event which will be held at Silverstone on the 9th & 10th July.