News > Barden bearings keep the wheels turning on Team Bath Racing's Formula Student car

Barden bearings keep the wheels turning on Team Bath Racing's Formula Student car


Super precision bearings manufacturer, The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd, is supplying angular contact ball bearings to Team Bath Racing for use on its 2014 Formula Student racing car.

Team Bath Racing is a team of around 100 undergraduate engineers from the University of Bath. Every year, the team designs, builds and competes with a single-seater racing car in the worldwide Formula Student competitions. The team comprises of first, second, third and final year undergraduates from a range of engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical, automotive and electronics.

Having competed in Formula Student events since 2001, Team Bath Racing has established itself as one of Europe’s top teams. In 2012, the team finished fourth in the Austrian event, the best performance that year by a UK team, as well as second in the endurance event in Austria and was the winner of the Cost & Sustainability competition (UK). The team will compete in three competitions later this year, the most by any UK-based team. The three races will be held at Silverstone, UK (12 ­13 July), Germany (29 July ­ 4 August) and Austria (17-20 August).

As Franco Botes, Business Manager of Team Bath Racing comments: “We’ve been using wheel bearings from Barden on the racing car since 2010 and they have proved to be very reliable. We are currently building the 2014 car, which will be launched on 28th May. The car has a pair of angular contact ball bearings fitted to each wheel. Obviously, the wheels are a critical part of the racing car and the overall power train set up. If we fitted inferior bearings to the wheels, this would lead to increased friction, overheating and slower speeds around the track. The wheels undergo high lateral forces, particularly when cornering, and so having superior wheel bearings ensures high reliability, lowest possible friction levels and a better overall performing car.”

Organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, with Ross Brawn OBE, former Team Principal of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team as its patron, Formula Student is an international competition for university students in which teams design and build single-seater racing cars, and then compete against each other in a variety of static and dynamic events designed to thoroughly test the quality and design of the students’ entries. The event has grown each year since its creation as Formula SAE in the US in 1980, and now involves over 400 universities worldwide, competing in seven countries.

The aim of the competition is to “develop excellence in engineering” by giving young engineers the opportunity to put theory learned in lectures into practice, and to develop their skills working as part of a high performance team in a competitive environment.

Barney Eley, Product Engineer at The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd comments: “The bearings on the racing car are from our FAG range of angular contact ball/spindle bearings. These are mounted back-to-back in pairs on each wheel. The bearings are manufactured to P4 accuracy, with P2 internals. For extra performance, the bearings use ceramic balls and are outer ring relieved, sealed and greased.”

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