A LOVE of watching Formula One racing as a boy led to a Huddersfield University student helping to build his own racing car.

Chris Powls, a mechanical engineering master's student, was among a team which took part in this year's Formula Student Competition - for which entrants design, build and race their own cars.

Sadly time got the better of them and they did not manage to finish the car to actually race on the day but there were a number of other categories in which their skills were tested against those of students from all over the world.

"There were teams from the USA, Canada, Finland and India," said Chris.

The competition was organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, which is based at Bruntingthorpe, near Leicester.

"It was a massive project but also a great opportunity to be able to design and build your own racing car," he said.

Other categories at the competition included trying to "sell" the car to a manufacturer. In that section they came 10th out of 38 teams.

Chris said it was a hectic eight months.

"Previous students who have taken part in this competition have spent one year designing the car and the next year building it but we decided to do both in eight months.

"So we split the work up. One student designed the suspension, another the chassis, another the bodywork and so on. It increased our workload but we managed to build it."

Chris managed the project with fellow students Tom Marsh, Matthew Purdey and Andy Holmes, with the help of several other students. The single seat racing car was scrutinised by professional engineers and industry experts. The judges also assessed the team on its project management skills, marketing, publicity, sales and promotional skills.

The project was made possible thanks to university funds and £2,000 sponsorship from Turnbridge, Huddersfield, turbocharger company Holset Engineering.

* TEAMWORK Chris is seen behind the wheel with some of the team who helped build the car (from left), Tom Marsh, Matt Bourne, Kevin Hill and Andy Holmes.