The leaders of the global motorsport industry are meeting in Birmingham in what promises to be a ground-breaking event.
Hailed as the ‘Davos of Motorsport’, the Race Tech World Motorsport Symposium is the only event of its kind organised for engineers and designers in the industry, and returns to Birmingham City University for the second year running.
Hosted by BCU’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment on January 6 and 7, the event will see big names including Nissan Motorsports and Aston Martin Racing among those providing an insight into the challenges and opportunities the motorsport industry is embracing, as well as discussing the latest developments in aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
Chaired by Audi Sport’s Ulrich Baretzky and Caterham Formula One’s John Iley, the two-day event will feature a series of interactive sessions, presentations and debates on what the future holds for the motorsport industry.
Outlining the different approach the organisers are taking this year, William Kimberley, editor of Race Tech magazine, said: “Following the wishes of our two chairmen, Audi Sport’s Ulrich Baretzky and Caterham F1’s John Iley, we have a new format that will make proceedings far more interactive for everyone.
“Rather than have a series of presentations delivered over the two days, we will have fewer speakers, more panellists and a forum that generates much more open debate than we have ever had before.
"In fact, it will rather be like a debate in the House of Commons.”
‘Cabinet members’ will include Williams F1 new chief technical officer, Pat Symonds, Nissan Motorsports’ Ben Bowlby and Martin Anayi, the managing director of the FIA European Rallycross at IMG.
The two chairmen will direct the discussions and in parliamentary style votes will be taken at various stages during the proceedings.
Mr Kimberley added: “The intention is to discuss every aspect of the car from type, size and weight, to powertrain including electronics, aero, safety, braking, suspension, lubrication and fuels, materials, data acquisition and so on, a much wider remit than ever before.”
Professor Adrian Cole, faculty director of innovation and enterprise at Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, said: “The university is delighted to be hosting the World Motorsport Symposium for the second time and it’s just one of a number of events during 2014 that we’ll be involved in, highlighting how crucial the automotive industry is in ensuring a prosperous future for the region.”
The symposium precedes one of the world’s biggest motorsport events taking place at the NEC from January 9-12 – Autosport International – which covers everything from karting to Formula One.
Birmingham City University will also be exhibiting at this event, showcasing its Formula Student Car and an Aquila Racing Car.
The university will also be promoting its portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in automotive, motorsport and performance engineering.
A working relationship has been developed between the university and Aquila Racing Cars, with the specialist Danish car manufacturer becoming industrial partner.
Academics from the university recently joined the judging panel for a competition run by Aquila where motorsport fans were invited to design the external bodywork for their new racing car.
The competition’s winning design is to be revealed at Autosport International, with the 2.0-litre engine vehicle being available for to buy from spring 2014 at a cost of around £42,000.
University partners Walker-Adams Karting and Aarhus Tech, an international technical college in Denmark, will also be exhibiting at Autosport International.