Team wants top five fin­ish

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

WATCH A car built from scratch by the hands of Univer­sity of Waikato engi­neer­ing stu­dents has a top speed of 160kmh and goes from zero to 100 in four sec­onds.

Th­ese specs make it a suitable ride for the up­com­ing For­mula SAE (So­ci­ety of Au­to­mo­tive En­gi­neers) com­pe­ti­tion in Mel­bourne.

With ti­tles like data ac­qui­si­tion and anal­y­sis en­gi­neer, the nine hon­ours stu­dents are a bona- fide rac­ing team. The name is Wesmo (Waikato Engi­neer­ing So­ci­ety of Mo­tor­sport) and is a stu­dent or­gan­i­sa­tion at the univer­sity.

Each year the team mem­bers re­search, de­sign, man­u­fac­ture and race an open-wheel rac­ing car in the engi­neer­ing de­sign com­pe­ti­tion For­mula SAE.

Deputy team leader and chas­sis en­gi­neer Seth Aan­dewiel said it be­gan with a group of 25 univer­sity stu­dents in 2006.

‘‘It was just a group of guys that tried to push it as a project but didn’t get any fund­ing,’’ he said.

The car is solely built by the stu­dents.

‘‘The big­gest chal­lenge for build­ing an SAE car is prob­a­bly the time,’’ Aan­dewiel said. ‘‘We’ve got a year to re­search and de­velop ideas and de­sign a car. A year is not a long time and it can be a push.’’

Nathan Se­nior is the sus­pen­sion en­gi­neer on the car and said the knowl­edge trans­fer from year to year is also a dif­fi­culty.

‘‘We’re lit­er­ally learn­ing as we go,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s pretty tough.’’ Other mem­bers of the crew are An­gela En­gels­man, Sean Craig, El­liot Wat­son, Brad Webb, Josh Parkin, Shuai Sun and Adam Wollin.

Their univer­sity su­per­vi­sor is Mark Lay.

The com­pe­ti­tion is held each De­cem­ber in Mel­bourne. Wesmo will be up against 30 other ve­hi­cles.

They will be pre­sent­ing their 2015 car at the CRC Speed­show in Auck­land.

At pre­vi­ous For­mula SAE com­pe­ti­tions, Wesmo has placed 13th, 6th, 12th and 11th.

This year the team in red and black aims for a top five fin­ish.

‘‘There’s a lot of work to go to get there,’’ Aan­dewiel said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit face­­mof­sae or con­tact Nathan at

Wesmo team mem­ber Josh Parkin putting the go-kart through its paces. PHOTO: GE­ORGE HEARD/FAIRFAX NZ

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