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Emkay Plastics Ltd
Composite House
Mission Road
Rackheath Business Park
NR13 6PL

Tel: +44 (0) 1603 746 000
Fax: +44 (0) 1603 746 001

formula student


Cardiff Racing is one of the many teams we sponsor with the free issue of Rohacell but they are also the team that has showed us the most passion and enthusiasm towards the Formula Student project/competition. It is all they seem to live and breathe along with their love of drinking, growing beards and charity work! We have been following Cardiff very closely with regular updates from their Team Leader Dewi Griffith, who has asked me to make sure we let you know he is the most handsome and wittiest of the team before we tell you anymore! Dewi is also an ambassador for the F1 In schools competition another project Emkay support! Now I must mention the other team members so as not to leave them out… As well as being great passionate and driven students they also have amazing facial hair growing abilities! When I first met a few of them in the flesh at last year's Advanced Composites Engineering Show I was slightly concerned they thought they were at the World Beard and Moustache Championships and nearly directed them elsewhere! But this was for one of their many fundraisers! This one being Movember! Despite the hair problems and battle of good looks the guys have been putting in a lot of hard work together to bring us their latest car. Now with last year's car being called Nigella we were not surprised with this car being named yet another ladies name, for the 2014 competition Cardiff bring you…LOUISA!

Dewi Griffith spoke to us about all things Formula Student before the upcoming competition…

So Dewi tell us about your experience so far, and what role you will be playing this year for Cardiff Racing?

"FS (Formula Student) 2013 brought along a huge challenge for Cardiff Racing. The team underachieved in the previous year due to numerous key team members graduating, however CR09 had numerous members returning from a year of industrial experience to lead the team (Myself included). The returning students and I restructured the team management and set down the design philosophy for the car. Essentially we wanted a reliable car that took no risks and for it to be built early. We achieved this in having a fully running and legal car four weeks previous to competition. This allowed our drivers some seat time in the car, the mechanics time to familiarise themselves with the maintenance and those representing the team in the static event time to prepare as best they can.

The static events are a huge part of competition. Over 30% of the overall marks are awarded for them so if you want to do well, it's about more than having the on track performance. In 2013, Cardiff University were placed 6th out of 130 teams after the static events with personal bests in each. The highlight was the result in the cost report where we achieved 2nd overall. Of course, there is still room for improvement and 2014 will allow us another opportunity to get closer to the #1 slot.

Cardiff Racing Logo

The dynamic events proved a little troublesome for us however. After sailing though the brake test early on Friday morning, we looked to set the car up for the skidpan and acceleration runs of Saturday morning. Our first driver set down decent times early in the morning however with the queues of teams was ever increasing throughout. This meant our second driver couldn't improve on the times, but that's what can happen in motorsport. The reason for the late running for the teams was due to the increasing temperatures throughout the day. The hotter the track and tyres can be, the quicker your car will be!"

Steven King and Dewi

New Sheet Sizes!

Above, our Managing Director Steven King meets Dewi at Silverstone during the Formula Student 2013 competition.

We are happy to announce we can now supply our customers with 1/8's (630mm x 630mm) of a standard Rohacell sheet (2600cm x 1350mm) The 1/8's are available to be cut from IG-F and IG-UF

"Moving on to the autocross event on the Saturday afternoon we were looking in a good position. I went out for the first of my runs, and was about to set a decent benchmark when the engine cut out. I still managed to cross the line as the fastest car of the day despite rolling under no power for the last 100m. We instantly fixed the issue (a small electrical fault) and were back out on track. With a little red mist, I set out again and drove a little too hard. A small mistake halfway through the lap meant I went off track and gained a time penalty for doing so.

Again, our second driver wasn't able to run however we lied in a good position of 33rd at the end of the session. Taking into consideration of the time lost and the extra speed gained on the second lap, we should have been nearing the top 10 to 15 had we got a clean lap in.

On to the endurance; seeing air temperatures of up to 35C on the Sunday morning was not a nice feeling! Cars were overheating all day and unfortunately that's what happened to us. A leak in the oil system due to excessive temperatures caused the engine to cut out and stop on lap 7 of the 11 lap stint for the first driver. It's no lie that the team fully expected to finish the endurance, and not fulfilling that meant it pushed the team on to improve further going into 2014!

Cardiff Racing Logo

This year my role in Cardiff Racing is 'Team Leader'. This means I oversee the design of the car from the MEng students and also organise the management so that work is shared equally and also gets done. Being in this role has allowed me to experience times where I've been leading activities, working as part of a team and also working in high pressure environments. It allows me to improve my project and time management skills and also ensure that I have experience in a wide range of engineering topics."

Warwick Racing Team Photo

Above, Emkay's Leah, Paul and Steve meet some of the Cardiff racing team with Team Leader Dewi and our NEC promo girls!

So when did you first get involved with Formula Student?

"I started my FS involvement in the first week of first year. Cardiff is one of a handful of universities in the UK that allow involvement from students in all years and disciplines. Since getting hands on right away I haven't looked back! Being able to have that involvement in first and second year really helped me when looking for an industrial placement. It allowed me to gain experience in applying the theoretical knowledge from my lectures and apply it to a practical project, which is what the real world of engineering is all about! More than boosting employability though, my first two years gave me the experience of working on the cars, so when returning for my 3rd and 4th years, I had the prior knowledge to get stuck into designing the main structures and components of the car right away."

Cardiff Racing Logo small line

Where are the team at now?

"At the moment we are in a very good place compared to previous years. We are 4 weeks ahead of where we are at this time last year and therefore should have a finished car before the end of May. The car is completely finished and read for scrutineering, with one section of the wiring loom being the only exception."

3D model

Above left and right, Cardiff's 3D Printed Nosecone design and the completed piece before render! This was printed in nine different sections!

Card Payments


Now the relocation is complete our PDQ Machine is back up and running again so you have two payment methods available once again. So you can choose whichever suits your company best!

Option 1: Over the phone PDQ system payment on ordering

Option 2: 30 Days at end of month payment account

"This year we were actually the first European team to have a fully assembled monocoque which was a nice achievement for those of us who were working on it at the start of the year! We believe we were the first UK team to have a rolling car also, but many teams are quite secretive about their progress… We have further improved on last year's suspension designs also. As well as reducing mass, we have improved stiffness in numerous components but more importantly ensured reliability. Most importantly, we've stuck to costs and time scales! The engine is currently undergoing some mapping which should further improve reliability and fuel economy."

Is there anything you are taking from last year's experience and anything you definitely won't be?

"From last year's experience, the main thing we will take is the feeling of failing the endurance. It's spurring on the team to improve this year's car to the best of their ability. Nobody wants to see another event failure."

How have you found working with us and your other sponsors?

"We've had a great experience thus far with Emkay Plastics! The support we have is hugely beneficial for the team. It's allowing us to expand our knowledge and think of future developments that will continually improve the designs of Cardiff Racing vehicles. For instance in summer of 2013, myself and a senior academic in the University (Dr Rhys Pullin) instigated an investigation into the feasibility of using Carbon Fibre/Rohacell panels for the chassis of an FS car. All composites, cores and adhesives were supplied from sponsors and allowed the project to be so successful. The initial investigation proved a success and the team now have a carbon composite monocoque as a proof of concept and display model. This research has been taken further this year with one of our 3rd ear students (Alex Grant) proving the structural equivalency of the panel for his final year dissertation. We now have all the data needed to use these materials for our competition chassis."

Brunel Masters Team
Cardiff Racing Logo small line

"Working with sponsors is something hugely important in industry. Our students get to meet up with them at various engineering exhibitions, race days, competitions and launch events, and as students it's something you can only gain experience from having FS involvement. With regard to our relationship with Emkay Plastics, it's one of the best we have! The support we get in all activities be it at competition, during the build, supporting our university and the F1 in schools events we attend is second to none. It's this sort of support from sponsors that really pushes the team to go the extra mile."

Formulae 1 Team

What's next for you.....where would you like to be in the future?

For me, I'll be finishing my final exams in May and graduating in July! I am seeking employment in automotive or motorsport engineering, however I am considering some further post graduate study. Currently I have nothing planned so my full focus is on the remainder of my studies, getting the car and team to competition and representing Cardiff University as best we can. For Cardiff Racing, the future is looking very bright. We have 9 students coming back from their industrial placements this summer and all of them are eager to apply their new skills, knowledge and expertise in building an even more successful Formula Student car. We have some very interesting developments that have been started for the 2015 competitions. There are some very bold targets set for 2015 and we aim to achieve them all. There will also be attendance at two of more competitions within Europe to further represent the University, Wales and the UK. Hopefully 2014 will be a tough year to improve on; but the team is looking forward to the challenge"

Emkay Motorsport Logo

Since speaking with Dewi last we have had an invite to their launch event which sounds quite different to the other launch events we have seen so far. The guys will be raising money for charity (again) for TY Hafan by taking part in "24 Heures du Cardiff". The guys will be racing their simulator around the Le Mans track for you guessed it 24 hours right into their launch event the next day! We are looking forward to it and obviously the Silverstone competition cannot come soon enough!

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