A large crowd gathered in Front Square on Thursday evening to watch one of Trinity College’s fastest growing societies, Formula Trinity, unveil the car that they will race in the Formula Student UK (FSUK) event next Wednesday.
Fans, tourists, and family members braved the ever-changing weather conditions to watch the team present the car and present their plan for next week and for the next few years.
Colm O’Brien, who is the current team captain, showcased the car and discussed how the team is made up of over 100 students from every discipline and department in the college. The car itself has been in development since the society’s inception in 2017, where prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the team finished second place in a concept class design competition.
Colm proceeded to inform the crowd that the team itself hopes that the issues of last year’s car are a thing of the past. With the experience of another year of development, the team believes they can do more than just trundle down the pitlane of one the world’s most iconic Grand Prix circuits.
Colm and the other team members who spoke at the unveiling maintained a positive and light-minded approach to the events that lie ahead. The countless sponsors and aids over the past year were thanked. Some of the sponsors included Cadence Design Systems, which lent their flow computational aero/thermal assessment tools in exchange for sponsorship of the team. The importance of their link with Formula Trinity was underpinned by the close links that Cadence has with McLaren F1, one of the most iconic and most successful F1 teams in the history of the sport.
The underdog reality of the team was highlighted by the fact that they are running on a shoestring budget of 12,000 euros. This is contrasted with the 50,000 euro budget that other universities within the QS Top 100 (Trinity being 81st on this list) exhibit.
Colm and the next speaker Peter O’Flynn, who is the future Team Captain and the current Head of Engineering, emphasised the importance of Formula Trinity to the college. With it being fully ingrained within the college, their aim after competing next week is for a fully autonomous ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car and a deeper look into electrical energy.
Commenting on the car’s development and building process, O’Flynn claimed to Trinity News that the team spent upwards of “20 hours a week” in the workshop over the course of the last year: “That’s probably 800 hours worth of work”. Upon being asked about whether the car will run, Peter affirmed that the car definitely runs: “We weren’t allowed drive it on campus because of Health and Safety….. We’ve a couple of guys who are doing their masters, so we could have just blamed it on them….”
The team heading over to Silverstone next week will also consist of driver Aidan McNeill. Talking to Trinity News, he affirmed that he has “numerous karting and single-seater experience under his belt”. His profession as a welder also aided the development/construction process of the car itself. McNeill was also an active member of Formula Trinity last year, which means he has an understanding of the complex Silverstone track layout.
The Formula Trinity crew and their fans will travel to Silverstone with the event starting on Tuesday and with the final events and final races taking place on the Friday of that week. You can follow the team’s progress via the Formula Student YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@fsimeche), which will have a livestream displaying each day’s events. Formula Trinity will also be providing regular updates via their numerous social media accounts.