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UC Motorsport race cars impress at international contest

Unique UC Motorsport race cars impress at international Formula Student contest

The University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) team dazzled the judges to take home multiple awards with their two custom-built race cars at the hotly contested international Formula Student competition in Australia this week.

The UCM team, made up entirely of University of Canterbury students, took the combustion and electric race cars they designed and built to compete with other universities from around the world at this year’s four-day Formula Student competition.

The event took place 6 - 10 December at Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, about two hours inland from Melbourne. University teams from across the globe, including Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Germany, India, Japan and Saudi Arabia, crossed their fingers as judges comprehensively reviewed their cars’ mechanical and electrical designs and functions, as well as their on-track performance.

The UCM team’s electric race car, which impressed the judges both on and off the track, is the first four-wheel-drive electric car to be built in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The UCM team watched anxiously as the officials performed the scrutineering process on days one and two of the competition. However, minds were soon put at ease when one of the judges wished the team good luck the rest of the contest and the other judge replied, “This team doesn’t need luck”.

On day three of the competition, winners of the static, off-field events were announced and the results proved fantastic for UC. The team secured first place in Business Presentation for the electric vehicle and the combustion car took home third place for Engineering Design.

The last two days of the event were spent on the track measuring the vehicles’ acceleration, speed, handling and endurance. The rainy conditions on day three and four of the competition provided a stiff challenge for the drivers, but the UCM team was able to muster a second place finish for the electric race car in endurance and a third place finish in autocross.

Faculty advisor to the UCM team, UC Design Engineer Bruce Robertson was extremely proud of the team’s showing at Formula Student.

“As always, we can all be very proud of our achievements in this programme,” Bruce Robertson says.

“We had students involved from across the University, including Mechanical Engineering, CAPE [Civil and Process Engineering], Electrical and Computer Engineering, Commerce, and Product Design – every one of whom is an outstanding ambassador for UC.”

UCM team project leader and UC Commerce student Jacob Ewing said last month the team couldn’t wait to get the innovative Kiwi race cars on the track in Melbourne to show the world what they can do.

“This project has been an unreal experience, juggling managing an international motorsport team with coursework and exams as well,” Jacob said at the time.

About Formula Student

Formula Student is an international engineering-design competition where more than 600 university racing teams from around the world design, construct and race single-seat race cars. The competition presents students with the opportunity to develop their skills in design, management, manufacturing, communication and business operations in a real world environment. Formula Student graduates are highly sought after by employers.


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