After nearly one year of hard work and more than 60,000 hours of planning, building and testing, an engineering team from the University of Washington came away victorious at a worldwide Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) race car competition last week in Nebraska.
Beginning in the fall, the UW team comes together to design, manufacture, test, and eventually race a small formula one-style racecar for competition in the summer.
The car is brought to the FSAE competition and stacked up against other vehicles from around the world. The cars are bad-ass: They weigh 400-to-500 points, have horsepower figures ranging from 50-90 HP and can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just three seconds.
Cars, which may not exceed $25,000 and are designed for the weekend autocross racer, must first pass a technical inspection at the competition. Then, they are judged by automotive veterans on qualities like acceleration, fuel economy, design, braking, handling and endurance, as well as affordability, maintenance and reliability. Even things like business plans and cost analysis are taken into account.
Last week, the UW team took first place for its combustion car overall score. The competition also included an electric car category for the first time ever and the UW squad placed second out of 20 teams for its electric vehicle.
The team is completely self-taught and self-run down to the engineering, machining, and all the way to the business-side of the operation, which is key to finding sponsorships (they raised $300,000 this year). Participating is competitive and applicants are interviewed before joining the team, which is made up of groups relegated to tasks like suspension, manufacturing, driver controls, aero and business administration tasks.
Team members will head to Hockenhiem, Germany for another international competition later this summer. For more pictures and information about the UW’s winning group, check out the website, Facebook page and awesome video below: