Oxford Brookes Racing gearing up for competition as new all-electric race car unveiled

The 2024 Oxford Brookes Racing car
The 2024 Oxford Brookes Racing car unveiled at Headington Campus. Images credited to Oxford Brookes Racing.

Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR) are aiming to celebrate their 25th anniversary in style by bringing home prizes at the Formula Student racing competition at Silverstone next month.

OBR are the most successful Formula Student UK team ever, and this year are hoping to secure a record ninth overall title at the annual competition, which takes place from 17-21 July at the world famous British Grand Prix circuit. 

On Friday 14 June the team unveiled their brand new electric race car, designed and built exclusively by students, at an event at the University’s Headington Campus. 

In last year’s competition at Silverstone, OBR brought home eight trophies and finished in overall third place. 

Team Lead Prescott Campbell, a third year Motorsport Engineering student, wants to do even better this year. 
Prescott said: “Last year was without doubt a fantastic year for OBR at Silverstone. But this year we are aiming to perform even better and win the competition outright. 

“We have a fantastic car, and the whole team is ready to compete at the highest level. A tremendous amount of hard work and dedication has gone into preparing us for competition, which is why we all joined OBR in the first place.

“We are now in the fourth year of having transitioned to an electric-powered car, following a long history of combustion engines. For OBR24, our main goals were to make the car more reliable and even faster. To achieve this, we redesigned the cooling system to keep the electrical components cooler by placing radiators inside pods for better airflow. We're also adding features like regenerative braking with adjustable energy recovery traction control, and torque vectoring, which will help us change the power to each wheel for better cornering. Additionally, we’ve added a new rear wing, side wings, and diffuser to increase the car's downforce to give it a more aggressive look.”

Prescott Campball and Claire Pokopac of OBR with the car
Team Lead Prescott Campbell, and Head of Operations, Claire Pokopac, unveil the new electric car at the launch event. Image credited to Oxford Brookes Racing. 

OBR was founded in 1999 and has grown into one of the leading Formula Student teams in Europe, collecting seven UK Top Team awards.

This year, more than 400 students form OBR, and have played a part in the design and build of the car, along with other duties such as taking charge of marketing and sponsorship opportunities. Staff from the School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics support and assist the students throughout the year. Any student studying any course throughout the university can take part.

Students from across the globe have taken part this year, andhe flags representing the nationalities of all involved in the team are proudly displayed on the car. 

The 2024 car has been named ‘Wheatlie’ in recognition of the Wheatley Campus where it was developed. Oxford Brookes is in the process of moving all remaining activity from the site to the Headington Campus. Two cutting edge, sustainable buildings will open their doors in the 2023/24 academic year and will be the new permanent home for the School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics, and the OBR team. 

Gordana Collier, Head of the School of Engineering at Oxford Brookes, and the Principal Academic Adviser for OBR, said: “We have an extremely proud history and reputation at Formula Student at Silverstone, which includes finishing at the summit of the table on eight occasions.

“We were very proud of the team’s achievements last year in what is a very high standard competition. I know that the team will make us proud again this year when they take to the track.”

Formula Student at Silverstone was launched in 1981 and is the largest student motorsport competition in the world.
Around 100 universities from 30 different countries enter their own single-seat race cars each year, which are judged on speed, acceleration and endurance. Teams can choose to enter an electric or combustion engine vehicle.