Engineering students from 27 universities across Australia and the Asia-Pacific have converged at Winton Motor Raceway in north-east Victoria this weekend for the 20th annual Formula SAE-A.

FSAE-A is a hi-tech competition for university teams to design, build and compete in Formula-style open-wheeled racing cars, which are judged on everything from technical design to their marketing plans.

Run by the Society of Automotive Engineers – Australasia (SAE-A), the Asia Pacific professional body for automotive and mobility engineers, it has classes for both electric and internal combustion cars.

This year’s competitors are from Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan and New Zealand, and five universities have fielded two-car teams contesting both electric and internal combustion categories.

SAE-A chairman Adrian Feeney said this year’s cars reflected 20 years of evolution, and harnessed chassis, body and powertrain technology at the cutting edge of current automotive engineering.

“Formula SAE-A is truly a showcase of Australia’s best mobility engineers of tomorrow, and it is a major recruiting ground for car companies and motorsport teams alike,” he said.

“Companies like Ford and other manufacturers, who employ 2000-plus automotive engineers in Australia, are among our main supporters because it gives them access to so many talented potential recruits.

“With around 700 of the brightest young men and women from our top universities all in one place, this really is a unique showcase of technology, talent and educational excellence.”

This year there will also be demonstrations of the autonomous race cars developed by Australian universities to contest the Formula Student driverless competition in Germany next year.

FSAE-A runs over four days, with the main on-track action on Saturday and Sunday after a gruelling round of technical inspections and team presentations on the Thursday and Friday.

Thanks to sponsorship from RMIT University, the event will be live streamed from Friday to Sunday by RMITV Student Television’s long running motorsport show In Pit Lane.

Primary coverage will be via the show’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/inpitlane with supplementary coverage on its Facebook page www.facebook.com/inpitlane.

students - university students formula SAE A 02 - Circuit training for uni students

CHECKOUT: Technology in driver’s seat at Olympic Park

CHECKOUT: Electric go-kart powers to win

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.