11 July 2005
Sunderland University's student racing team were the winners of the FISITA Award for Outstanding Endeavour at Formula Student 2005, held from 7-10 July at Bruntingthorpe, UK.
The team were awarded the prize in recognition of the great initiative and determination they showed after a vital engine component failed during the competition, preventing their car from running.
The car's engine was from a Kawasaki GPZ 500 motorcycle, but phone calls to dealers in the area drew a blank. All seemed lost until a member of the team got the idea to check the car park and noticed a GPZ 500 belonging to a spectator. An announcement was made over the tannoy asking for the owner to come forward. The team then managed to persuade the biker to let them dismantle the engine of his bike and "borrow" the small component which formed part of the engine management system.
Although they were ultimately unsuccessful in getting the car back on the track in time, the judges felt that the Sunderland team's efforts epitomised the creative approach to solving real-world engineering problems which the Formula Student competition seeks to promote.
The team received the award which comprises a trophy and prize money of GBP 250, from FISITA Chief Executive, Ian Dickie in front of a packed audience during the awards ceremony on Sunday 10th July.
The Sunderland team also won the Altair HyperWorks Award for the Most Effective Use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE).
The University of Toronto were overall winners of the 2005 competition.
Formula Student is an international competition in which university students design, build, develop, and compete as a team with a small single seater racing cars. Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, FISITA's member society in the United Kingdom, the 2005 event involved teams from 70+ universities.