Expertise at the service of students: history of the partnership between YCOM and UniPR Racing Team

UniPR Racing Team, a team composed of students from the University of Parma, has been competing in the Formula SAE championship for years. In 2023, the team relied on YCOM to build a new chassis: we report the story and the words of the students involved in this partnership. By doing so, the company makes a sincere wish for success to the UniPR Racing Team for the 2024 season

Formula SAE: an educational experience in motorsport  

Formula SAE is an international university competition in single-seater engineering design. The cars compete on the track, but it is not always the fastest who wins: in fact, before each race there is an evaluation of the engineering design and business plan starring the car, with the aim of rewarding the best design and development plan.

This project allows students to develop skills in the field that are invaluable for those who want to build a career in motorsports, given the great attention with which insiders follow Formula SAE.

What is UniPR Racing Team?

The UniPR Racing Team was founded in 2007 by a group of engineering students intent on entering the world of Formula SAE. Today the team is composed of more than 80 students from the University of Parma, who work under the supervision of professors from the faculty of engineering and collaborate with many automotive companies.

In 2018, the team, wanting to continue the environmental commitment promoted by the University of Parma, decided to enter the category dedicated to electric cars. By rethinking its way of acting with sustainability in mind, UniPR Racing Team thus establishes itself as a bearer of change and positive values within motorsport. The focus on environmental issues is complemented by the path of inclusiveness undertaken over the years, which has increased the female presence within the team – at the moment, women make up more than a third of the members – and has led several female students to occupy prominent positions in the team’s organizational chart.

Partnership and technical project

The partnership with YCOM enabled the UniPR Racing Team members to make the chassis of their single-seater for 2023, thanks to the instrumentation and technical support provided by the company’s professionals. Two goals the Racing Team wanted to achieve through this collaboration: to make the car lighter but also more reliable. As highlighted by the results on the track, mission successful on both counts.

The project involved the creation of a carbon fiber monocoque with a sandwich structure, alternating layers of carbon and honeycomb as a filler. Throughout the process, which lasted just over a month, the team worked within YCOM’s facilities, including the lamination room, provided to them along with all the necessary equipment to complete the project.

The work was divided between the design phase and the production phase. The design phase itself was divided into two parts: first, defining the geometry, taking into account the internal overall dimensions due to the different components of the car; then, moving on to the study of the lamination, determining the materials to be inserted into the monocoque to achieve the best balance between weight and rigidity.

At this point, production began. From preparing the molds to the final baking of the chassis in the autoclave, the team took care of every step under the supervision of YCOM personnel.

The floor to the students: how would you describe the experience at YCOM?

Federico Fava, former Head of Chassis (season 22/23): “Stimulating. Teamwork is key and we experienced it both in the design phase (in which the tasks were divided among the members of our division) and, above all, in production. Here, we had the opportunity to interact with professionals who provided us with valuable knowledge and advice”.

Giacomo Delsante, current Head of Chassis: “Extremely educational, at YCOM we breathe innovation. We were given the opportunity to touch every step of chassis production, from the preparation of the molds to the final stages of finishing, always with the support of highly specialized personnel who allowed us to take care of every single detail to perfection”.

Giulio Ferrari, current Head of Aerodynamics & Cooling: “A motivating experience: sometimes in the design phase you tend to overlook the most crucial part, which is the construction. Being supported by experts, on the other hand, helps you to better understand the points that require more attention and those that require less, keeping you grounded during the most crucial phases of the design process”.

“A unique opportunity, we come out enriched”

Constantin Dragos Oneci, Team Leader of UniPR Racing Team, expresses satisfaction and gratitude towards YCOM, as highlighted by his words: “Engaging with professionals of this caliber has allowed us to gain new knowledge and practical skills in the field. This collaboration has undoubtedly enriched us; we are grateful for the opportunity to firsthand experience and learn all the steps involved in the lamination of a chassis within a leading company in the industry. I want to thank YCOM, which supported us in every phase of the project: thanks to the expertise and efficiency of its technicians, we were able to create the chassis quickly and take part in the scheduled competitions”.

Filippo Martini, YCOM Manufacturing Director, commented: “Despite the tight schedules and daily challenges we face at YCOM to ensure excellence for our customers, hosting and supporting the University of Parma’s racing team students has been a true pleasure. Last year, with great determination, they achieved the ambitious goal of designing and building a new chassis for their car. Their integration with our production was impeccable, and their attitude resulted in significant advantages for the realization of their project.

Observing their growth has been extremely rewarding. Creating such an important and complex component during their studies is no small feat; their dedication and commitment have been truly admirable. We will continue to support the UNIPR Racing Team in 2024, and we can proudly say that this partnership is set to thrive in the future.”