Blood, sweat and gears will be on display next week when a group of University of Queensland students take to the race track in Melbourne.
The UQ Racing team will compete from December 15–18 in the Australasian round of the Formula SAE competition, which sees students from around the world design, build and drive their own race cars.
Two years of work have gone into the UQ entry, with final testing taking place at Willowbank Raceway this week.
UQ Racing team manager and graduating engineering student Yassmin Abdel-Magied – who we exclusively interviewed on RichardsF1.com – said the group were hoping for a top-10 finish after a three-year absence from the event.
Teams will compete in design and presentation categories in Melbourne in addition to track events including acceleration, endurance and autocross.
Ms Abdel-Magied said the UQ car sported a HondaCBR600 F4i engine, double wishbone suspension, seven-inch Hoosier tyres and custom fibreglass bodywork.
Team veteran Jake Knowles, who designed the suspension system and also serves as one of six drivers, said it was a rush to be behind the wheel.
“When you get in to the car, what first hits you is the acceleration. There’s no road car on the planet that quite accelerates like this car,” he said.
Mr Knowles has been involved with UQ Racing since his first year of studies, and said the team continued to evolve as knowledge was passed down from year to year.
“You have to become a teacher and all the skills that you’ve picked up you pass on to younger people so that the car can continue to do well,” he said.
Around 30 UQ students from a range of disciplines have honed their skills on the project.
“We’ve got mostly mechanical engineering students but we’ve also got maths students, occupational therapy students who want to work with driver training, and marketing students who want to be on the sponsorship side of things,” Ms Abdel-Magied said.
“What brings them together is a love of motorsport and a keenness to apply what we’ve learnt in university to a real object.”
The group will drive to Melbourne together to transport the car and ensure it’s ready for competition.
“It’s a fantastic way to really get to know each other and bond as a team but also work on a race car that we’re all really passionate about. It’s a fantastic opportunity to represent the university,” Ms Abdel-Magied said.
The Formula SAE competition will be held at the Victoria University Werribee campus from December 15–18.
UQ Racing is proudly supported by The University of Queensland, Willowbank Raceway, LSM Composites and Beaurepaires. To learn more about the project, click here.
[Images via UQ Racing Media]