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Formula Sae Team To Unveil Most Advanced Race Car Yet

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Speed and agility feature strongly in the design of the Formula One style race car to be launched this week by Faculty of Engineering students.

Each year the international Society of Automotive Engineers (Formula SAE) invites university students to construct a small open-wheeled style race car to compete in events around the globe.

The University of Auckland's entry this year, called the M09, is sleek, high performance, and incorporates many features on the cutting edge of mechanical design. On the outside it may look similar to the 2008 entry, but inside it is a different story. Weight and drivability have been on the forefront of the team's mind, resulting in a shift to a single cylinder WR450 engine package. It features a custom designed transaxle and paddle shift gearbox, a carbon fibre monocoque and carbon fibre wheels - a new innovation this year.

"We are coming off the back of a strong 2008 campaign, which included a number of wins and podium places, leaving the team hungry for the top spot this year," Formula SAE Business Manager Mike Male says.

"Initial testing of this year's car has shown promising signs. In its first ever testing session at Tamaki Campus it demonstrated impressive speed, matching the pace of last year's car through slalom-style obstacles. With exams now over, the team is able to take full advantage of the early completion to help the M09 realise its full potential."

The Formula SAE competition places emphasis on not only racing, but also design, cost and commercial viability - all factors of real-world automotive engineering.

The M09 will take on entries from other universities from around the world at the Australasian SAE-A event, to be held from December 10 to 13 at Victoria University, Werribee. With 24 competitors already confirmed, Mike says the University of Auckland team is confident they have done enough to prepare themselves to take a top podium placing.

The team will complete its final preparations for race day at the Meremere drag strip and the Mt Wellington kart track.

Launch event: the M09 will be unveiled to supporters on Tuesday, 17 November, 6pm at the Faculty of Engineering, Level 4 Atrium, 20 Symonds Street, City Campus.

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