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The FH Campus Wien OS.Car Racing Team is the youngest Formula Student Team from an Austrian university. 2015/16 was the most successful season to date.
“The fact that we completed the endurance competition, which truly puts the materials to the test over more than 22 km, in Spielberg this year for the first time and in a personal best time is for me the highlight of this year’s racing season,” said Vice Rector and founder of the racing team, Heimo Sandtner, about the successful performance at the Formula Student Austria.
42 teams from eight countries around the world pulled up to the starting line at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg in August 2016. The FH racing team participated for the third time and for the first time was able to successfully complete all the static and dynamic competitions, including the endurance races. Harald Frey, Team Captain of the Racing Team, is also pleased with the success of the past season: “The team did an excellent job. We made optimal further developments and technical improvements to the car. We were not only able to clinch a great result in Spielberg, but for the first time we also qualified for a competition abroad, namely the Formula Student Hungary in Györ, and there we even topped the success we had in Spielberg.“
The Formula Student is an international student design competition in the field of mechanical engineering. Within an academic year, students design, construct and manufacture a race car and then race against international competitors in several events. The FH Campus Wien Racing Team was founded in 2012 and has taken part in the competition since 2013/14. Professor Jürgen Stockmar, visionary and motorsport enthusiast, who in the 1980s and 1990s established the sports department at Audi and headed the sports department at Opel, has consulted the team from the beginning: “The chance to share my several decades of personal motorsport experience with the team during the development of the vehicle is a great joy for me. The recent successes confirm the steep learning curve of the team.”
Team Captain, Harald Frey, is also pleased with how the team has developed: “It is running extremely well right now and we are already busy with preparations for the next racing season.” The team currently consists of 50 members. The majority come from the degree programs in High Tech Manufacturing, Green Mobility, Technical Management and Embedded Systems Engineering and, since the last season, a physical therapist is also part of the team for the first time. She is supporting the team, keeping them fit and preparing them well for the physical hardships of the competition in summer 2016.
Every autumn, preparations begin for the upcoming racing season. According to the rules, the Formula Student Teams have to design and manufacture a new car each season. The module directors for the FH Racing Team therefore hold a strategy workshop to determine the direction of the (further) development of the vehicle. The construction phase begins immediately afterwards and will be completed around Christmas when the design freeze begins. The manufacturing will take place from January to May/June and before the competitions start in the summer, the new car will be tested for a few weeks at the Wachauring race track in Melk.
The racing team is funded by sponsors. The main sponsors are in addition to FH Campus Wien, the companies Blaha, Hörbiger and Axalta Coating Systems. The Standox team from Axalta for example, supports the team with the painting of the car. “It is particularly important to Axalta and Standox to actively support young, ambitious people in implementing their projects. The opportunity to realize visions, taking them from the drawing board and turning them into an “attractive” and powerful race car on the track, is a great experience and encourages us in what we do,” says Karin Franz, Human Resource Manager for Axalta in Austria and Switzerland.
For a successful performance in the Formula Student, excellent technical characteristics of the vehicle at low manufacturing costs, as well as expertise in project management, controlling, marketing and public relations are crucial. The team has to prove their technical and business skills in several events (static: convincing overall design, promising sales concept; dynamic: fastest acceleration, best lateral acceleration, autocross and endurance). The FH Campus Wien Racing Team did that very successfully in the 2015/16 season. And who knows: next year, maybe the OS.Car Racing Team will be among the top ten.