Griffith Racing Team laps up success at FSAE competition in Melbourne

A group of Griffith Engineering students are living university life in the fast lane after their racing team secured trophies at a national meet held in Melbourne recently. 

The Griffith Racing Team (GRT) enjoyed success at the recent Formula SAE-A competition held in Winton, Victoria.  

FSAE is an international engineering and design competition that tests all aspects of a student’s knowledge in an engineering project.  

GRT placed fifth overall in the Internal Combustion competition after placing 1st in Cost and Manufacturing, 2nd in the Acceleration category, 2nd in Endurance, 4th in Skidpad, 6th in Business, and 10th in Design.  

The competition attracted competitors from far and wide, including teams from Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong, The University of Auckland, University of Canterbury, Tokyo Denki University, Sophia University Japan, Technical University Munich and many more.  

GRT’s 12 members also faced off against much larger teams, such as Monash’s team of 90 members. 

Students were required to design and analyse every component that was used to build an open-wheel racecar, from the complete steering and suspension system, to the brakes, and the entire electrical system that operated a fuel-injected 4 cylinder engine.  

Alongside the engineering design, students ran the team like a business, which required sponsorship proposals, sponsorship engagement, brand exposure, timeline management, budgeting, team meetings, team moral, risk assessments and manufacturing processes.  

The competition also required students to cost every component on the vehicle as if they were producing 150 vehicles a year. This included the amount of turns required on each nut and bolt, the quantity of cable ties and the manufacturing processes used for all components.  

Team member Ross Baker said “the effort from this team resulted in the success at this years’ competition”. 

“It also allowed me to secure a paid summer internship at a top tier engineering firm because of my work in GRT,” he said.  

“I believe this is one of the only experiences at Griffith University that incorporates all aspects of engineering and business into one project, and I am thankful that GRT has provided me with the opportunity to develop such a diverse and valuable skill set.”  

Former Griffith students who have gained employment in the motorsport industry as a result of their involvment with GRT include Jason Sherring (Nissan Motorsports); Jack Anderson, Ben Jackson, Dylan Lovriha, Sean Lowndes (all PWR); and Jake Weringhaus (Pace Innovations).

Griffith School of Engineering and Built Environment Senior Scientific and Technical Officer Geoff Turner said the weekend was the culmination of “two years of hard work, late nights and dogged determination from our students and they did us extremely proud”. 

“The comradery and compassion between all of the teams involved is simply amazing to watch as they offer any help that they can to assist and encourage each other,” he said. 

“What I have witnessed since becoming involved in Formula SAE is that this whole experience not only produces Engineers from Griffith that are a cut above the rest professionally but it also gives them the skills to make a positive contribution to society.” 

Next year heralds the introduction of Griffith’s Electric Vehicle program within Formula SAE as well as building on the team’s Internal Combustion Vehicle success.