Loughborough Alumni


15 Nov 2016

Motorsport dreams on track for Loughborough student James

Loughborough first-year Automotive Engineering student James Allitt has been on an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 (Formula One) facility thanks to alumnus, Dan Milner.

James has aspired to work in Motorsport all his life. Leukaemia threatened to jeopardise his plans, but after successful treatment James passed his A Levels in the summer to obtain his place at Loughborough, taking his dreams one step closer to reality.

The Alumni Association learned of his story through an article in his local paper and got in touch with Dan to organise the visit.

Dan, who studied Mechanical Engineering at Loughborough and is currently Senior Powertrain Integration Design Engineer at Mercedes, showed James around the facility and arranged for him to speak to other Loughborough graduates who also work for the team. They even had the opportunity to watch the practice laps for the Singapore Grand Prix from the race centre and listen to the advice being given live to the Mercedes drivers.

“I loved the day. Any doubts that I had about wanting to go into motorsport and F1 are gone; it’s a definite now. It would be all of my goals achieved and all my Christmases at once,” said James, one of the newest members of Royce Hall.

When asked about his move to Loughborough, he said “I’m looking forward to learning everything but also making new friendships, enjoying the time and taking every experience with both hands.

“I think what made me apply to Loughborough were the real world functions and applications of the facilities I saw when I visited an Open Day. It’s hard to explain. Just walking round something clicked and it felt like this is where I want to study for the next five years” he added.

Working as an integral part of an F1 team is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. For Dan it became a reality, and the former Falkner Eggington Hall Chair was happy enough to share his experiences with James.

“I think one of the things you need when working in motorsport is to be really resilient and hard-working. James has shown his character by overcoming the challenges he has faced and with flying colours,” said Dan.

Having studied at Loughborough prior to his career in F1, Dan was thoroughly engaged in all things Loughborough; from intra mural sport to hall committee activities.

“There were several universities that had good automotive-based degrees but the thing that swung it in Loughborough’s favour was the social aspects of the University and the Loughborough Experience”.

There seems to be little doubt that James will continue striving towards a career in the motorsport industry thanks to Dan and his colleagues at Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team.

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