Griffith University mechanical engineering graduate Jack Anderson enjoyed a thrilling view of big-time motorsport when he was granted a pit-side perspective of the Castrol GC600 V8 Supercars event on the Gold Coast in October.
Now the leader of the Griffith Racing Team is preparing for his own racing challenge starting today (December 10) at the 2015 Formula SAE-Australasia student engineering competition at Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway.
Specifically tailored for engineering students, Formula SAE is centred on the design, construction and racing of an internal combustion or electric race car up to 600cc/80kW. The competition presents students with the opportunity to develop their skills in design, management, manufacturing, communication, research and business operations.
The Griffith Racing Team’s vehicle — christened Nara, for “not another risk assessment” — is powered by a 600cc/60HP Honda motorcycle engine and has a six-speed sequential gearbox, a track-limited top speed of 125kmh and is capable of going from 0-100kmh in 3.6 seconds.
Along with Jack, the Griffith Racing Team comprises School of Engineering students Sean Lowndes (technical assistant), Reece Schmith (safety systems), Ben Jackson (technical director), Jake Werninghaus (engine drive line) and Daniel Schulte-Loh (head of design).
“Racing teams from universities all over Australia and New Zealand will be at Calder and the competition involves acceleration, skidpan, autocross and endurance challenges,” says Gold Coaster Jack, 21, who will be behind the wheel for the acceleration and endurance categories.
“I was immediately drawn to the design and construction credentials of the Formula SAE concept and it’s been a fantastic outlet for me.
“As well as the mechanical engineering practical experience, I’ve learned so much about research, sponsorship, health and safety, managing finances and more.
“I’ve also learned that engineering is more than maths and science. It’s about new ways of thinking. Griffith has a strong focus on engineering intuition.”
Jack’s motorsport connection will continue after graduation when he joins Gold Coast company PWR Performance Products, a world-leader in high performance cooling solutions for race categories including Formula 1, NASCAR, V8 Supercars and the World Rally Championship.
The 2015 Formula SAE-A student engineering competition runs until Sunday.