The Griffith Racing Team (GRT) made an outstanding competition debut at the Formula SAE-Australasia student engineering challenge at Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway at the weekend.

The Griffith team finished 14th out of a field of 30 entries that included several international teams. Monash University was the overall winner.

The Gold Coast-based GRT — comprising engineering graduate Jack Anderson (principal) and students Sean Lowndes (technical assistant), Reece Schmith (safety systems), Ben Jackson (technical director), Jake Werninghaus (engine driveline) and Daniel Schulte-Loh (head of design) — took on universities from Australia, New Zealand and even one from the US.

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 and which is then tested in challenges involving acceleration, skidpan, autocross and endurance.

The GRT car, nicknamed Nara, which stands for "Not Another Risk Assessment"

The GRT car, nicknamed Nara, which stands for “Not Another Risk Assessment”

The GRT vehicle 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.

“For the FSAE-A competition, we finished 14th overall in our very first year, and that included finishing sixth overall in the endurance classification,” said Jack Anderson.

“To say that we are happy with this result is an understatement. This is what the team has been working towards all along and with the past six weeks consisting of very little sleep and maximum levels of stress, it was a great way for it all to end.

“The whole team would like to thank all of our sponsors, the other teams and all the people that make FSAE-A the great concept it is.”

GRT Director and Head of Griffith’s School of Engineering, Professor Geoff Tansley, congratulated the team.

“The boys deserve so much credit for what they have been able to achieve in a relatively short time. To finish 14th is a truly outstanding result and is a credit to their dedication and abilities,” he said.

Jack said working on the GRT project was not only fun, but also complemented and enhanced his university studies.Griffith staff support the project by providing lab spaces, technical support and advice.

The results in Melbourne add to positive news around Griffith’s School of Engineering, which was acknowledged in last week’s 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia results as being above world standard in the fields of Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Materials Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

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