In 1981 the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) organised the first Formula SAE as an American University competition. The challenge the students are facing is to develop and construct a single-seated race car. In 1998 this concept was adopted in Europe with the Formula Student starting in Silverstone. Throughout the following years further international race tracks became part of the competition such as Hockenheim (GER). Momentarily, there are eleven official events worldwide in which about 550 Teams participate.

The competition itself has developed over time. Since 2010 there is not only the category combustion engine but also a competition for electric powertrains. Students taking part in such competitions require broad knowledge. The challenging disciplines are split into static and dynamic ones. That means that on the one hand the race car’s performance is tested on different kinds of circuits and on the other hand the construction of the car has to be defended and presented in front of experienced judges.

 

DYNAMIC DISCIPLINES

Dynamic disciplines put a focus on race car technology and the drivers. The race car has to prove itself in a variety of disciplines driving against the time and other teams.

Acceleration

Acceleration on a straight distance of 75 metres with time measurement. Good results are achievable via a thought-through suspension setup directed towards low wheel-spin and aerodynamic adjustments for maximum drag reduction.

Skid Pad

Similar to steady-state circular course driving, parcours that looks like an eight and every circle has to be driven twice. Measurement takes place every second lap. This discipline requires good lateral acceleration data.

Auto Cross

Point to point parcours with a length of approximately 800m with straights, corners and chicanes. The position of this discipline is relevant for the starting grid at the endurance.

Endurance

Supreme discipline: the vehicle has to finish the full distance of 22km, after 11km there is a driver change. It is similar to the autocross but allows for higher velocities. The driver and the race car are pushed to its limits here.

Fuel Efficiency

As part of the efficiency judging fuel efficiency is measured in relation to the minimum consumption and the fastest time.

 

STATIC DISCIPLINES

Static disciplines consist of presentations and discussions in front of judges taking the car as a basis.

Design Report

The technical directors present the car's components in an interview with experts from internationally leading companies of the automotive industry. High tech solutions are valued with a corresponding amount of points here.

Cost Report

Representation of cost efficiency of the race car in front of judges and defending the choice of certain materials and manufacturing techniques. The cost report itself consists of an itemisation of every single component as well as the so called ‘Real Case’ with the solution for an event specific task.

Business Plan Presentation

Presentation of the business plan for a notional marketing concept comprising the real vehicle as a basis. Judges should be treated as potential investors of a group. The presentation is limited to 10 minutes and 5 minutes of questions follow afterwards.