ACTOR and University Chancellor Patrick Stewart watched a new racing car go through its paces.
And there was an added bonus - the car was designed and built by Huddersfield University students.
The Mirfield-born screen star eagerly observed mechanical engineering students tearing across the Galpharm Stadium car park in their Formula Student racer.
The 60bhp motor, designed and built by the students, will take on 60 vehicles from across the globe in the Formula Student Competition at Silverstone next July.
The competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, challenges students to design, build, develop and market a one-seater racing car.
The test-drive took place as a reward for new graduates and present students.
Patrick, famed for his roles in Star Trek and X-Men, said: "I'm very proud of what they've achieved.
"The engineering department is a significant aspect on the university. It's outstanding that they can compete in an international competition."
Asked if he'd swap the silver screen for the race track Patrick joked: "There's no question. I'd be a driver but I think I'm a bit above the age limit!"
Professor Jim Yip, Dean of Huddersfield University's school of computing and engineering, said: "It's excellent to have someone like Patrick on board.
"It's great promotion for our university. He's well trained as a driver so I don't think he'll crash our car!"
But car buff and amateur motor racer Patrick, 66, declined to step into the driving seat.
In last year's competition Huddersfield's Formula Student car finished 37th.
James Baxter, a Huddersfield University lecturer and Formula Student mentor, said: "We were happy to finish. A lot of cars are disqualified before the race. The qualification is very stringent."
Huddersfield University is looking for sponsors for its next racing car. Interested parties should call Liz Rees on 01484 472 312.