The McGill Racing Team is a group of undergraduate engineering students at McGill University. Every year, we design, develop, build and race a new formula-style racing car to participate in the several Formula SAE competitions: FSAE Michigan, FSAE Lincoln, Formula North, Toronto FSAE Shootout, and Formula Student Germany. These extremely competitive events include over 120 colleges and universities from around the world, exchanging ideas, creations, and concepts.
This past year, the McGill Racing Team enjoyed the success of its best results in its history, finishing 1st in Canada, 4th in design, and 14th overall at Formula Student Germany, the most prestigious of the FSAE competitions. Additionally, the team won its first ever individual event, taking home the trophy for fastest skid pad at FSAE Lincoln.
The McGill Racing Team was established in 1994, and this year marks our sixteenth entrant in the competition. New students from different branches of engineering (mechanical, electrical, computer, civil and materials) and other faculties join the team each year, eager to learn new skills and ideas that will benefit them in their future careers. This extra-curricular activity is a great opportunity to apply knowledge learned in class, and develop teamwork, project management and problem solving abilities. While our objectives may seem lofty for an extracurricular activity, the organization, knowledge and teamwork crafted from the success and failure of motorsport competition is exhaustive.
Moreover, for the first time ever, the McGill Racing Team will be taking on the challenge of designing, building and competing two prototype vehicles, each with similar chassis construction, but armed with different powertrains: one combustion and one electric.
What is Formula SAE?
Formula SAE® is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly Society of Automotive Engineers). The first competition was started back in 1978 and was originally called the Mini Indy.
The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.
Formula SAE promotes careers and excellence in engineering as it encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and finances. Formula SAE takes students out of the classroom and allows them to apply textbook theories to real work experiences. The vehicle designed for the competition are a mean for students to develop professional skills. This is why not only the final product is evaluated but the overall thought process and strategies developed to build each prototype. Technical reports, cost studies, marketing presentations, etc. are an integral part of every project. Like in real work environment, students have to continuously weight their decisions in terms of feasibility and performance.
Today, the competition has expanded and includes a number of spin off events. In the United States there are two locations: Lincoln and Michigan; Michigan being the largest event and longest running.
Internationally, as part of the Official Formula SAE Series utilizing the Formula SAE Rules Copyright under signed agreement are:
- Formula SAE Australasia
- Formula SAE Brazil
- Formula SAE Italy
- Formula Student (UK)
- Formula Student Austria
- Formula Student Germany
- Formula SAE Japan
In 2006, Dartmouth College (partnered with SAE International) created the fuel alternative event Formula Hybrid using Formula SAE cars with gasoline-electric hybrid power plants.