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Chapel-en-le-Frith engineering firm gears up for Silverstone with new driverless race car

Del Quigley, left, owner of DJ Engineering Services Ltd in Chapel en le Frith, with his wife, Liz, and motorsport engineers, Niall Carmichael, Mick Baker, and Andy Smith with the autonomous driving system which they have developed for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and showcasing around the country.
Del Quigley, left, owner of DJ Engineering Services Ltd in Chapel en le Frith, with his wife, Liz, and motorsport engineers, Niall Carmichael, Mick Baker, and Andy Smith with the autonomous driving system which they have developed for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and showcasing around the country.

A Chapel-en-le-Frith business with a global presence in the motorsport industry has designed a new type of driverless electric racing car.

DJ Engineering Services Ltd has been asked to produce chassies for a single-seat autonomous vehicle controlled by Artificial Intelligence, which will race at Silverstone in 2019.

Owner Del Quigley said: “We are a small team of just five people, but we work with big industry players around the world such as Lotus and McLaren and we are so excited to be working on this new venture with Formula Student.”

Formula Student - run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - is a student engineering competition to develop a small Formula-style race car.

With the recent upsurge in the popularity of electric racing vehicles, Formula Student has created a new category for cars which run without a driver but are programmed by students with computer algorithms to complete the race.

Del said: “We went to the launch of the race in July and it was a much bigger deal than we originally thought.

“I ended up on stage with the prototype model giving a talk to 3,000 students.

“It’s really exciting to think we are working with the next generation of computer science students who will be taking the motorsport industry to the next level.”

DJ Engineering was originally established in 1998 and has grown to become a leading name in the design and production of composite components for all levels of motorsport, from sprint racing to Historic F1 and international-level GT racing.

The company has been asked to produce chassies for ten vehicles, with construction expected to start in October in time for the race in April next year.

Del added: “This will be a big ask, so while our clients may not be local our workforce needs to be and I can see us needing to recruit to deal with the demand, which will be great news for the area as well as us.”