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6th Place Has Never Felt So Good

For Immediate Release

14 December 2004

6th Place Has Never Felt So Good

Photo: The University of Auckland's Formula SAE car in full flight in

Not many people thought they would get their car to the start line let alone claim a top ten finish, but 'can't do' isn't part of the vocabulary for a group of Auckland students.

The University of Auckland Formula SAE Team that built and designed a formula-style race car have finished 6th and picked up the best endeavour award for rookie of the year at the Formula SAE 2004 competition in Melbourne.

Up against 30 of the world's top engineering universities, the students have pulled off a remarkable result for a first year team.

"What we have managed to produce in nine months, takes most teams two years, so it's an unbelievable achievement and result for us," says Team Leader Chris Paykel.

The team, made up of forty engineering students from The University of Auckland, have worked day and night to get the car into a competitive state.

"We went into the competition with twin goals - making the top ten and claiming the rookie of the year - we managed to do both and in style," says a jubilant Chris.

The long hours and sacrifices were all well worth it when representatives from both SAE International and SAE Australasia heralded the car as the best first year car that they had ever seen.

"That was an amazing compliment and credit for the team, especially when you put it into perspective, these guys have been running the competition internationally for over 20 years," says Chris.

Over the four day event the team was given points for a presentation of their design and cost report and their car's performance in four dynamic events, including an acceleration test, skid pad test, autocross event, and a fuel economy and endurance test.

"Featuring strongly in all disciplines was the key to our success but finishing fifth in the 32 lap fuel economy and endurance race really clinched it for us," he says.

Competing in the competition wouldn't have been possible without the support of The University of Auckland and businesses within New Zealand.

"It's not really your run of the mill academic project, but the Dean of Engineering could see the value in it for students and got right behind us along with the New Zealand motor sport and business community who have provided us with financial support."

With such a promising result in the competition the students have already started planning for next year but this time rather than a top ten finish they want to take the title.


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