Victoria University Motorsport team unveil aerodynamic race car dubbed ‘Abi’

Nearly 100 Victoria University (VU) Mechanical Engineering students and alumni from past and present met recently to unveil VU Motorsport’s latest opened-wheel race car that will soon be competing against other university teams.

The vehicle, and a VU Motorsport (VUM) team of 12, are now ready to race against other university teams from across Australia, and potentially as far away as Germany, India and Japan, in the Australasian 2022 Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition.

Winton Motor Raceway in Benalla, Victoria will host the event in December.

Car painted iconic VU blue

This year’s team built their car, named ‘Abi’, with a full aerodynamics package, which required extensive analysis and added build complexity, but will allow for significantly improved cornering performance.

To go with the new aerodynamics package and associated bodywork, VUM made a special effort to ensure that the car is recognised as a VU vehicle by painting it in the iconic VU blue colours.

The competition, which sees students design, build and drive their own car, aims to develop skills in engineering, management, leadership, teamwork, marketing and finance in a real-life commercial project.

Teams compete in a range of track events including tests in acceleration, motorcross, skidpad and endurance.

From 2005 until 2008 – and again in 2013 – VUM competed in the event, which is an annual fixture on the calendar of car-loving engineering students.

In years they did not enter the Formula SAE, VUM student teams were involved in other related projects, such as car restorations, and the Clement Motorsport Sport Sedan project.

Senior engineering lecturer Dr Matthew Lamb said over the years, dozens of students have participated in the club, which builds lifelong skills that cannot be taught in a classroom.

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