2014 - Review

Michael Millett

2014 Has been a year of ups and down for UWA Motorsport, with lots of big changes happening throughout the team. As I am sure you are all aware by now, UWAM will not be engineering a car to participate in this year’s round of competitions – a difficult decision that was finalised a few months ago in order to maintain longevity and the positive movement of the team well into the future.

Despite this heartbreaking conclusion to the 2014 build cycle, there have been a number of huge positive steps built up in the preceding few months that place us in the best starting position, with the biggest opportunity for progress and success in all areas, that we have had in at least the past 6 years.

For the first time in our history we have successfully implemented a complete recruitment program for eager new members (something that has been talked about and trailed to differing levels of success for years) which will allow us four separate intakes of students, with the current potential of 100 new members each year. So far we have seen new member retention jump from around 5-10% up to approximately 80% of all students recruited between January and March under this new system. As we develop and improve this new 6-week program we hope to continue seeing this significant positive growth in other months of recruitment.

Off the back of this recruitment and training program and the work of this year’s team leaders, the team has put itself into a situation where the complete leadership team for next year had been finalised by September – another first in UWAM’s history. This has allowed for a fundamental change and increase in our opportunities for next year, with months of handover time present and a wide range of resources now available to us in a way that there never has been before. The historically difficult task of knowledge transfer and alumni integration is now miles ahead of where it has been this early into a new build before and only looks to be getting better – with the new team now seeing the immense strength in it early and already contacting alumni from years they have had no contact with.

Another big progression for the team this year came through our fourth annual Collie trip for driver training and race team preparation. Off the back of 2013 UWAM had to say goodbye to three of our top four drivers. Now, after our most successful week in Collie, we have a driver team of 8 strong students willing to put in the time and effort to fill the shoes and surpass the success of those who have gone before them.

In the 2014 cycle we were also successful in bringing three important new sponsors into our family and we could not be happier. I am happy to say that our sponsors are pleased to continue supporting us through the difficulties that come with a non-production year and change in build cycle for the next season.

I personally, now having had time to reflect on my past months as Project Manager, have found things I would do differently given the option and decisions that I wouldn’t change for anything. Most importantly though I would like to thank three people in particular for making the year what it was and setting up the team for the strong future it has in store; Andre, the 2015 Project Manager, without whom this team certainly would not be what it is today – his input and assistance cannot be overstated in my opinion. Rowan, our Technical Director, who has gone above and beyond for the progression of our vehicles, concepts and technical team management. And Claire our Logistics Manager, who has been instrumental in setting up and maintaining a wide range of programs and initiatives that will be staples for UWAM moving into the future. They could have done it all without me but I could not have done anything without them. Thank you.
UWAM is in great hands and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

2014 - Technical Review

Rowan Heinrich

As the Technical Director for the 2014 team, my role was to oversee all aspects of conceptualisation, design and manufacture of the car. Being a team who is exposed yearly to the full engineering design process, from defining goals and restraints to testing and driver training, the team develops an understanding in all aspects of the FSAE project. Over the past 2 years UWAM has been developing our knowledge in systems integration and plan to continue leading this action over the coming months. The first 2 months of 2014 were planned to set the team up for the design and build phase.

We had set ourselves goals to achieve a high lateral grip through a combination of a small, low centre of mass car and our beloved Goodyear tyres. We completed designs that again utilised the Honda CBR600 engine, though have started an investigation into the feasibility of developing a new powertrain package in the near future.

The Vehicle Dynamics Team were pursuing an iteration of our Mechanically Mode Separated Suspension System. This design would have been achieved through composite beams running laterally along the side of the chassis allowing the development of a separate aerodynamic diffuser to be attached to the bottom of the beams. The final iteration of steering design would have been very different to similar systems in SAE. The new design achieved a reduction in pitch and roll steer while improving predictability and driver feedback.

2014 planned to develop the use of aerodynamic devices to assist in the vehicles dynamic stability, specifically in cornering, whilst maintaining low drag and high downforce targets. The aerodynamics package conceptualised in early 2014 is a brand new innovation within the team and something that we have not tried before. This concept is being brought into discussions for 2015 and will be seeing further track time to test and validate. We are excited to again push the boundaries with an aerodynamic concept unlike that on any car in SAE.

The 2014 car has produced a number of exciting initiatives that are proving useful to the 2015 Technical Team and may well feed into the new design.





The 2014 Vehicle Assembly


Final Steering Design Iteration


Vehicle Dynamics Assembly Early Iteration



Busselton Quit Forest Rally

The road trip down to the annual Forest Rally in Busselton has become somewhat of a tradition, giving members old and new the opportunity to form stronger team bonds, meet new people and increase the team’s exposure in the motorsport community in Western Australia. The 2014 Quit Forest Rally was held earlier this year in April and was the 30th celebration of the event, which takes place over three days. The professional rally cars competed in Nannup forest during the day on the Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, at the special stage at the Busselton Foreshore, there was an opportunity for amateur racers to compete amongst themselves with their own vehicles; this is where we set up our static display.

The display was a success, with the 2013 vehicle, Maali, on show. Children eagerly placed themselves in the vehicle, while we spoke to their parents and others about the project and, in particular, the new suspension system that we presented at the 2013 FSAE-A Competition in Melbourne. We returned home with fond memories and a tan to last us until next year’s event.


Alumni Concept Presentation Night

The air was tense with anticipation in the Monadelphous Integrated Learning Centre as the 2014 technical leaders took one last look at their notes and attempted to calm frazzled nerves. In early March the UWAM technical team unveiled the year’s concept to our alumni; only those who have experienced the countless hours of work and dedication towards the UWAM cars are invited to attend in order to foster critical yet understanding judgement. This was an opportunity for technical leaders to get critiqued by those who have left UWAM to join industry, where both sides of the stage get to learn.

The presentation was followed by light food and drink where team members could talk with alumni and ask them questions about what they learned through their experience in industry and at UWAM and advice they could give them. The night ended with some storytelling as past members were given a tour of the new workshop. With such a successful night the team is hoping to expand this to include our sponsors and supporters in 2015.








Collie Training Camp

For the past 5 years UWAM have been going to Collie to prepare for the Australasian F-SAE competition. The camp was held in April this year, and 30 of the UWAM members attended this camp along with Greg Weryk, an old friend of the team. We took the 2002 car, Phoenix ('11) and Maali ('13) car with us for driver training and testing.

Driver training is one of the main reasons for this camp, here we teach new drivers how to follow the FSAE unique course layout and teach them techniques on how to  go through the track quicker and smoother without getting penalised.

J-kart and UWAM 02 cars are used for the drivers training. J-kart helps develop the basic instinct of the level of braking and 02 challenges on fast gear shifts on the sharp FSAE track.

The drivers who showed significant progress in the training also drove Phoenix.

Throughout the week we ran joy rides, free runs and timed laps to see who cut it to the 2014 driver’s team.

Maali was used for testing and performance tweaking for the concept for the 2014 car. Suspension damper adjustment, steering damping and aerodynamic concepts were finalised on the basis of these testing and data collected.

Thanks to Pete Marsh and Greg Weryk for being such tolerant and wise driver trainers and being so patient with all the members.

A massive thanks Jason James, Motoring Southwest Manager for letting us do what we do and for being such a hospitable host.

Thank You & Sponsor Update


A new and exciting avenue of the partnership for the team came to the team in the beginning of this year, with Mr Trevor Rabey kindly partnering with the team to develop and track a thorough Project Plan using Microsoft Project. Mr Rabey and the team at PPP have been worked closely with the management team throughout the year to ensure the project was on track. Project Management is an absolutely crucial aspect of the teams development and our new partners at PPP have opened a world of new opportunities for the team.


Mr John Marshall, owner of JB Performance is a new partner to the UWAM Team this year and has already had a huge influence on the teams development. Mr Marshall very kindly donated the team a race engine for 2014. Mr Marshall is a wealth of knowledge and experience in the racing industry and the team is very grateful for the support we receive from him.


The newest partner to join the UWAM family is Camco Engineering, based in WA they boast an impressive range of machining skills and capabilities. The team is excited about the opportunities that this partnership opens up and is planning to utilise this generous support early this year.

2015 - The Road Ahead

Andre Van Vulpen

The team is in a very exciting position for the year ahead. The efforts of everyone involved in 2014 were extensive and I am proud to know such a dedicated team surrounds me leading into 2015. With many new and eager members in the leadership team, a shifted timeline and a firm objective the team is excited for what we hope to be our most innovative year yet. 


The approach to the FSAE “Problem” is something that I personally find very interesting, and over my time on the team has become one of my biggest driving motivations. This idea of the “Problem” of building “The Best” racecar has allowed me some truly inspiring conversations that have opened my eyes to perspectives far grander than racecars.  Dr Angus Tavner, Peter Marsh, Geoff Pearson, Matt Schrader and many others have offered me their own insights into what they believe the “Solution” to “The Problem” is, and I am always amazed by the scope of thought these discussion bring. It is this eye-opening perspective that I hope to bring to many of the members in the UWAM team through my time leading this team.


Eye opening perspectives, as I have discovered, take time and effort to communicate effectively. 2014 saw the team introduce a new motto within the team “The Driving Force of Innovation in F-SAE”. This indicates our outlook on the competition. We are all proud of the team’s history in producing cars that shake up the conventional approach and we hope to bring that UWAM spirit into the 2015 car. Innovation to us is not simply a buzzword to make us all feel good, but rather a reference that we can bring into our design and decision-making.  It is an unlocking of our approach to situations, where we encourage and enable all of our members to not look at what the general answers to the problem might necessarily be, but rather why that question exists in the first place, and how else that may be achieved. It would be a great honour to leave the team with even the slightest awakening to this perspective after we have produced 2015, and with the upcoming 18 months we have planned I have no doubt that the team is going to learn an immense amount along the way.


The romance of an international racing opportunity is one of the first reasons that I joined the team. The stories shared between members of the passion and commitment that it took to produce a high performance car and then tour it around the world to compete against hundreds of Universities all striving to be the best filled me with ambition. The opportunity to be a part of a team that can do this, with the help of all of our generous supporters is something that I want every member of the team to feel connected to. It is with great excitement that we are announcing our plans to attend and compete internationally in 2016. The team is planning our “Road to Germany” campaign which will help provide us with resources enough to, once again, compete on the world stage in Hockenheim in 2016.  The last time the team competed at an international event was  2009 when the 2008 team finished on the podium with a 3rd place overall and 4th in Engineering Design.  The undertaking of producing a team and vehicle that can perform at the standard of the German competition is immense, however we are all extremely excited for the coming months. We look forward to sharing the Road to Germany with you.


2015 - Technical Report

Lindsay Wood

The 2015 technical team has elected to begin with clean-sheet design of a new vehicle. A FEED, or Front-End-Engineering-Design phase has been added as a stopgap between the concept and detailed design phase, with the intention of exposing any fatal flaws hidden in concept selections, as well as providing more detailed briefs for designers and detailed cost evaluations of the concepts. The team has elected to remain with designs which focus on high yaw rate and rapid corner exit, rather than a car focused on maximum lateral acceleration capacity.

While not competing in the 2014 Australian Competition was a disappointment to all involved, we plan to take full advantage of the improved timeframe and resources this allows the team, and hope to present an innovative and impressive vehicle in 2015. The new timeline allows us to dedicate much more time to design over the summer holidays and move our manufacturing period forward to allow an increased testing and tuning phase. During the FEED phase we plan to focus on not only developing a vehicle driven by a core philosophy and delivering a well integrated solution, but to also investigate new developments including rear wheel steering, active aerodynamics and new powertrain packages.


Buddy System

The Team has been trialling the implementation of a new Buddy system in a new recruitment initiative taken onboard for new members. A senior member of UWAM volunteers as the “buddy” and is assigned with 4 to 5 new recruits and they go through the process of building a FSAE race car. This program runs for 6 weeks each semester and each week the buddy explains each area of the car for exp. PT, VD, Chassis, etc. The aim of this program is to recruit long term motivated members and to spark an area of interest for new members to work on. This is also a great opportunity for the existing UWAM members to share their knowledge and experience as a Mentor. 

Meet our Members - Lyle Campbell

Lyle has been a member of the UWAM Team since 2011 was the Technical Leader 2012 and 2013. He has just finished his thesis on Selective Laser Melted in Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composites which was completed within the UWAM Project and had large contributions to the 2014 vehicle design.


How did you come to find yourself on the UWA Motorsport Team?

I was fortunate enough to get vacation work early on in my degree and this experience showed me how much my engineering knowledge and skills were lacking. I joined the team the next year (my second year) with the aim of getting some practical experience and greatly improving my engineering skillset and knowledge base.


What was the biggest incentive that you saw (in the early days) in being involved in the team and working into higher levels?

I was excited (and overwhelmed) at the prospect of designing and building components for the UWAM vehicles. Taking a design all the way from concept to finished and tested part was every bit the rewarding experience I expected it to be! Additionally the team has access to lots of interesting manufacturing methods through sponsors that most of the engineering cohort would not get to experience.


How would you explain your experience as Tech Director for 2012 & 2013?

Being technical director was the hardest, but most rewarding task in my engineering experiences thus far. I had my eyes opened to how much more than just technical ability is required in an engineering project. Having the opportunity to learn the hard lessons early on, and learn them with a great group of people in the same boat was incredibly valuable.


What was your biggest challenge you faced over your time in UWAM?

The ‘low point’ of my FSAE experience was when we did not have the 2012 car completed in time for the competition. However, critically analysing my practices and the team’s practices and identifying where we went wrong and how we could get back on track was an extremely valuable process and taught me a tremendous amount about all aspects of project engineering. I am proud of myself and the team for bouncing back from to have a successful year in 2013, placing 5th in the Australasian competition.


What was your biggest joy over your time in UWAM?

Watching the 2013 car cross the finish line in the final event of the competition.


What is your biggest take away from your time in UWAM?

One of the things I am most grateful to have experience in my FSAE time, is the UWAM culture of innovation and pushing engineering boundaries. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the greatest opportunity for innovation is when the problem you are trying to solve has been broken down to its most fundamental level. I believe that being surrounded by this attitude from early on has greatly expanded my engineering confidence and analysis skills in general.


What is on the horizon for Lyle?

I am currently looking at further developing my final year project work (which was conducted with UWAM) in a post-graduate context.




Lyle's Selective Laser Melted Prototype Rear Uprights and Test Pieces.





 Screenshots of Freya's presentation developed to help explain the importance of    Ergonomics in the vehicle design.

Meet our Members - Freya Sadat

Freya joined the UWAM team early this year and is a member of the Frame and Body Team looking at the Ergonomics of the vehicle.


A little about yourself, what you are studying, interests, literally whatever you like.

 I’m currently studying Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Management and Engineering Science. After completing my degree I will continue to study for my Masters in Mechanical Engineering.


How did you come to find yourself on the UWA Motorsport Team?

I found out about UWAM when I was still in year 12. I was very keen to join the team so that I could finally meet people with the same interests as mine. In fact, one of the biggest reasons I decided to attend UWA was to join UWAM. Now, I’m a part of this amazing family!


What is the biggest incentive that you see in being involved in the team?

I learn something new from every single team member, and I think that even every small detail I learn about contributes to the bigger picture and my future as an engineer.


How would you explain your experience as a new member in the team?

Ever since the first time I spoke to the team members I knew that they’re just as friendly as I expected and that I could count on them. I particularly found the challenges and the meetings helpful as they provide the new team members to become more familiar with the primary skills required and the terms that are frequently used.


What has been your biggest challenge you faced over your time in UWAM?

I think the biggest challenge that I’ve experienced so far was the second “thing” challenge I was involved in. Each team member had to research and learn about a small system in the formula car and make a short video explaining the system. I think this challenge was both exciting and challenging because it was the first contribution I made to the team.


What has been your biggest joy over your time in UWAM?

My biggest joy so far has been the first time I realised that I genuinely look forward to each team meeting and understanding a little more of the concepts and terms mentioned.

What is your biggest take away from your time in UWAM?

It would be the skills I gain during my time in the team. I think those practical skills enable all the students to get a taste of what engineering is really about outside the classroom environment.


What is on the horizon for Freya?

The future Freya will be an active member of UWAM, who always tries to contribute to the team and bring ideas to the table. After receiving her masters she will be a successful mechanical engineer who designs and builds prototypes while studying for her PhD. After a few years in the workforce she would open her very first company, dedicating the rest of her life to make at least a small positive difference in the world.

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Thank You Sundowner

The UWAM Team is planning a Thank You Sundowner for all of our amazing sponsors and supporters. Details of the event will be sent out in the coming weeks and we are excited to see everyone there. It is set to be a great night with a presentation of our 2014 design and our plans for 2015 and 2016.

FSAE-A 2014

A small team of UWAM members are attending the upcoming competition in December for 5 days. The event always provides ideas and inspiration from all the other teams that are doing great work. The team is planning on doing a lot of investigation into the new track with a change in venue to Calder Park in Melbourne. The new track layout will influence the design of our 2015 car and we are hoping to learn as much as we can in our time there. We will be putting out updates of our time at the competition for everyone back home, so stay tuned.



FSAE Australasia: Day 8

And so, the sun rises over the last day of competition, whether we are ready or not, this is it.

Our morning began as though Saturday was repeating, starting work on the car from 7am gates open and working hard though to 10am and the first endurance event. With the electrical gremlin form yesterday put down to a broken solder in the ignition loom, our electrical team spent last night rewiring a new one ready to install this morning. Unfortunately that didn’t solve the problem completely and we soon discovered a faulty ignition module – a part we unwittingly did not have a replacement for. With our puppy-dog-eyes on and a few generous teams around us we managed to secure two new modules from both Curtin University Motorsport and Melbourne University Racing. With the new module and loom fitted (and the brakes re-bled, again) she was up and rearing to go.

After a quick run on the practice track and a top up of fuel we waited in line for our first of two runs of the endurance event. Driver Ben Colley was on tack first, setting an excellent pace before a driver swap with Pete Marsh. Pete put in a phenomenal run to set the fastest time of the event so far. With a full endurance run complete and no concerns afterwards (despite a slow leaking tire) we were already ahead of what we could have expected just a few days ago, and well on our way to our year’s goal of a top five finish overall.


Endurance Event


After a well-deserved slow lunch we pushed our car up to the starting line once again for endurance run two. This time around Tom Lapsley was in the driver’s seat, setting a respectable pace throughout his 11km run before a clean driver swap with Nick Favazzo. A few laps in however Nick had a big spin, ending up in the dirt heading into a long sweeper. Through a skillful recovery effort the car was nursed back to the pits for inspection. Putting the spin down to a combination of too much rear brake bias, a potential issue with the roll bar and some driver error that marked the end of our competition for the year. However, we had managed one full, clean, fast run in endurance and our top 5 standing prospects were looking good.


UWA Motorsport 2013


After the presentation ceremony we walked away with an astounding 2nd place in fuel economy, 4th place in endurance and 5th place overall – a spectacular result for the team, achieving our start of the year goal of a top five overall finish. A big thank you has to go out to our sponsors for their continued support of our engineering pursuit; all of our friends and families for understanding and putting up with the long nights, stressful days and emotional ups and downs; CMT and MUR who without their help this morning we would not have even made it to the track; and everyone else who has helped us in any way shape or form throughout the year. We could not and cannot do this, what we love, without you and we look forward to an even stronger result next year!

Click here to see the competition gallery

FSAE Australasia: Day 7

The second day of competition brought about a range of ups and downs for the team. A few team members were on site for the 7am gate opening to get straight to work on the few remaining issues holding us back from passing technical inspection yesterday. By 9:30am the rest of the team were in and we were on our way to scrutineering, this time passing successfully, with all drivers completing the egress test with flying colours.


Tilt test


The second of the three technical stickers proved more troublesome than we expected with a fuel leak spotted out of the filler cap on the tilt pan, a clever fix and a second attempt were all that was needed to move on to the next step.


Competed tech inspection!


The third and final technical inspection was cleared with speed and ease, passing both noise and brake test on the first attempt in quick succession. With the SAE logo on our nose where it belongs we moved quickly into the line for the acceleration event. Unfortunately, due to time restrictions we did not have time to compete in both acceleration and skid-pad, opting for acceleration due to the higher points ranking. After two successful runs under driver Ben Colley we took a break for lunch and prepared for the autocross event.

Driven by Pete Marsh and Tom Lapsley the first round went as smooth as could have been hoped for; with a fastest non-corrected time of 42.06 seconds set by Pete, 2rd overall at the time of running, and an impressive result for the team. The second round of the event brought about some disheartening issues for the team; with Tom getting through his runs cleanly before a brake master cylinder failure caused the delay of Pete’s tries. Unfortunately there was an electrical failure associated with the brakes during this run, which caused the car to coast through the finish. On the second run another unfortunate electrical gremlin appeared, this time affecting the ignition system and ending our autocross event.


Autocross Event

With an early morning ahead we are looking forward to a busy day of competition tomorrow.

Click here to see the competition gallery.

FSAE Australasia: Day 6

Today marked the first day of competitive events at this year’s FSAE-A competition. The team rose early to pack our vehicle crate which will stay at Victoria University’s Werribee Campus for the rest of the competition. The first event for us was the cost event. Lyle, Tom, Craig and Rowan presented our cost report and an analysis of a suitable steering system for FSAE vehicles and scrutinised other possible cost reductions on components.


Cost Event


Next was the design presentation. In this event, all of our technical leaders answered questions from a range of judges. They gave justified and reasoned analysis of various component designs.


Design Event

In between these events we attempted passing through the various technical inspections. Unfortunately, we have not yet passed through the initial technical stage.




After a short break for lunch, work continued on the car into the afternoon before André and Michael gave the business presentation to a small panel of industry professionals, the final static event of the three-day competition.

A handful of minor issues remain overnight, which we should be able to fix tomorrow morning, allowing us to run in the dynamic events tomorrow. The team is looking forward to a successful weekend full of dynamic events. 

Click here to see the competition gallery.

FSAE Australasia: Day 5
Coming soon . . .
FSAE Australasia: Day 4

Faculty advisor Angus Tavner arrived today, generously sacrificing time with his family to further help the team, providing guidance, and sharing with us all his wealth of wisdom about the project. Angus has been with the team since 2000 and has seen all the highs and lows that this project provides for the team.


Angus Tavner in the 2004 car

The preparation of the car is coming along well with the bodywork receiving some last efforts and the engine tuning progressing. The suspension system configuration was finalized with the new system proving to be significantly easier to adjust than previous vehicles. The team is very happy with the new suspension concept. 

The team leaders have been putting the final tweaks on their design presentation preparation, many debates and discussions have delivered us to feeling prepared for the engineering judges on Friday.  


Following from yesterdays Interview with next years PM, we have also included an interview with our 2014 Technical Director Rowan Heinrich.

How long have you been in the team? 

I joined the UWAM team just before our expedition to collie this year. It was a great experience and I learned so much about the team from such an engaging week, special thanks to motoring southwest for the generous use of their facilities.

What have you learnt from your time on the team? 

When I first joined UWAM, I was part of the electrical team and have gained confidence in both my engineering decision making and manufacturing abilities.  I have learnt also that being given the opportunity to be a leader in this team is an unparalleled chance to gain some real-world engineering skills. It commands a level of commitment that gives you more experience than any other project I have discovered.

What are you learning from current Technical Director Lyle Campbell?

The immense importance of clear and concise goals, and the ability to clearly communicate those goals. 

Also, that it’s important to address small problems in their initial stages before they become larger and have significantly greater consequences. 

What has been your role in the team this week? 

This week I’ve been assisting the current technical director and learning what is required for this role at competition. I’m learning a lot about the operation of the team in this kind of high pressure environment. 

I have also been working closely with many other team members helping prepare the cost presentation.

What are your hopes for 2014? 

For 2014 I hope to create a team with well-devised roles that are suited to members’ abilities and foster personal growth and improvement. I’d like to see the team have the car running by the September, as I feel that it’s really beneficial for all members to go through the complete engineer project cycle. 

Why do you want to see all members go through the complete engineer project cycle?

To produce quality, self assured, resourceful graduates that far exceed the expectation of industry.

In my opinion, there is a lack of practical understanding in university graduates today, due to a heavy emphasis on theoretical understanding.

UWAM gives students the opportunity to immerse themself in an authentic and comprehensive program that requires far more of the members than many initially perceive possible of themselves. 

Biggest hurdle for 2014?

Hurdles are those frightening things we see when we take our eyes off of our goal. 

But if I had to state one, I would say that the changes in the engineering degree structure at the university needs to be looked at to see how the team can work closely to the new structure. The new 5 year masters degree offers exciting new possibilities for member retention.

Click here to see the competition gallery.

FSAE Australasia: Day 3

Morning crew was out in the workshop early in the Melbourne morning, working hard to get the car base lined and finalising the few small tasks left to get the car back to track. Things are progressing well and the team is confident that even though in motorsport you can never have “enough time”, we will be lining up for scrutineering Friday morning to collect our stickers.


Last minute tweaking


The team would like to introduce our newest member of our team Toyota Corolla “Pun-nelopy”. Recently joining the team, she has fitted right into the family and seems to be coping well.  Looking past the clearly innocent bite marks on the steering wheel and the doors requiring all passengers to perform the Macarena before entry, she is a beautifully crafted stallion carting us all around Melbourne.




As a brief introduction to our 2014 journey we have put together an interview with 2014 Project Manager Michael Millett.

How long have you been in the team?

Three years, I started February 2011. I walked into the Motorsport lab before my orientation day, skipping my initiation. I saw them pushing the car around and just kind of followed them.

What have you learnt from your time on the team?

Apart from the general competence around tools, people and vehicle mechanics I have also discovered as master of acquisition for the last few years that following a sneaky Google search and a convincing phone call there is nothing that I cannot find.

What are you learning from current Project Manager Matthew Schrader?

How to more effectively manage a large group while keeping them a cohesive unit.

What has been your role in the team this week?

Prime food shopper and assistant list maker, General hand whenever it’s needed and apprentice tyre beader extraordinaire.

What are your hopes for 2014?

I hope to leave the team with the ability to conceive and produce a high quality competitive car within 10 months. In order to teach all members of the team the skills and self confidence in their ability to achieve these goals I believe it is crucial to have our vehicle at a stage that it can be driving by end of September.

Why is it important for the car to be running by September?

Having a car that we can thoroughly test will not only dramatically boost our performance at competition next year, but it will give team members a true experience of what an engineering project requires. Missing out on testing times at the end of the year unfortunately leaves a hole in the engineering process for members, leaving out a crucial learning experience.

Biggest hurdle for 2014?

Managing the team effectively whilst I am out of the state for the initial months of the year. Our solution is interim PM Andre Van Vulpen, who is more than capable of guiding the team through the start of the project, and setting the team up well for my return.


Click here to see the competition gallery.


Waking up bright and early on Monday morning, the team met after breakfast to discuss our plans for the day. We elected to break into two shifts, early and late, to maximise working time and allow everyone some quality sleep time. With our vehicle due to arrive in the afternoon, the morning was spent preparing for design and business presentation events.


Preparing for design event


It has been fantastic to see every member of the team stepping up for jobs, and we have discovered some new master chefs and dishwashers in our midst. Members preparing to take on a senior role next year are working closely with the 2013 leaders and are taking on a second-in-charge role in that area.

The team and crate arrived safely in the afternoon, after their cross-country road trip. After successfully reversing the trailer all the way down the driveway, the team set to work unloading the vehicle and setting up our workshop. After a comprehensive safety induction by our Safety Officer, Matt Newman, the team set to work on the vehicle in our makeshift workshop.


Setting up our new workshop 

Media Manager, Suzie Delahunt has been hurriedly poking her camera everywhere so stay tuned to check out the gallery.

Click here to see the competition gallery.

A large group of the UWAM team arrived to the cold Melbourne weather this morning. A far reach from our familiar UWA Lab environment, the team carried with it an equally eager nervousness and excitement for the following 7 days.  With the rest of the team and our recently running 2013 car inbound to our new home for the next stretch of the project, we have been hurrying around to prepare the best we can for the week ahead of us.

The team would like to extend its deepest gratitude to all those that have enable us to get to this point. It has required a truly enormous effort by so many people to get us this far. From each and every member of the UWAM team, if you have contributed to our successes, thank you for sharing our passion.


Our first glimpse of Melbourne on Sunday morning, just outside Melbourne airport.

Our first glimpse of Melbourne on Sunday morning, just outside Melbourne airport.

The 2013 car was recently taken down to our friends at Curtin University and was successfully driven, giving us all a great sense of achievement to see our achievements reaching early stages of final fruition.  The car performed well and there were no complications with the operation of the car. The team looks forward to tuning the car as much as possible and seeing the concept validated.

The team is currently preparing for static events coming up soon. As you may know, the static events comprise a large segment of the total available project points, assessing students on their knowledge of the engineering application they have exhibited throughout their efforts this year.


Team meeting on Sunday night, preparing fro the week ahead.


We are all looking forward to this exciting week with anticipation and know that though we have a large amount of work still ahead of us, the results of recent times have shown that working together we can achieve far beyond what we could have ever perceived.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be spent testing, tweaking and finalising the car. Then we are off to comp on Thursday to register and set up. Friday will be an eventful day with Design, Presentation and Cost report events, as well as the technical inspections to pass. Pending no catastrophes, Saturday will bring the first of the dynamic events with the team competing in the Acceleration and Skid Pan event in the morning, and Autocross event in the afternoon. Sunday will see our drivers take to track for the Endurance event.

We will be keeping you up to date all throughout the week and look forward to catching up when we return from Melbourne to thank you and share more of our experiences with you.


Please click here to see a gallery of our first day in Melbourne. 


UWA Motorsport is proud to announce the beginning of a new partnership with the RAC through their Community Sponsorships program.

The RAC has been an integral part of the Western Australian community for more than 100 years and is committed to giving back to RAC members and the wider community. A key priority for the RAC is to help provide safer, sustainable and more convenient travel options for their members and the wider WA community.

The RAC's support is being directed towards the development of a more efficient engine and drivetrain package which will allow UWAM to continue to develop a more fuel efficient engine. This is beneficial for the teams out right performance, as over 10% of the competition points are awarded for fuel efficiency. It also falls in line with the RAC's goal to reduce CO² emissions for vehicles which is supported by the RAC’s Less Emissions Mission program which offers discounts to people with economical cars as an added incentive for making the switch.

UWAM would like to welcome the RAC and is looking forward to developing a long and prosperous partnership.











On the weekend of 3 – 5 May, four UWA Motorsport team members worked as CAMS volunteer motorsport officials for round 4 of the V8 Supercars Championship Series at Barabagallo Raceway.

The V8 Supercars category headlined the event, while the Dunlop Series, Touring Car Masters, Saloon Cars and Formula Fords also were racing throughout the weekend.

We had the opportunity to work as pit lane officials. Some of the responsibility's included ensuring the safety of all people on the pit lane, clean up any dirt or oil spilled on pit lane, and manning the radar gun to check the speed of cars in the pit lane. We also worked as grid officials, who were tasked with lining the cars up in their correct positions for the start of each race.

Although it was a very intense event, all the team members denitely enjoyed the experience, and are planning to continue working as officials for other events at the circuit. All this was possible through our sponsorship agreement with the WA Sporting Car Club.

On the rest day of the V8 Supercars event six team members had the opportunity to have a tour of the Jack Daniels Racing and Erebus motorsport pits. They were able to see the inner workings of the V8 car of the future, and to learn a bit about the constraints they have on parts and where they are allowed to innovate. They also went to the HRT pit and met up with Alumni

Scott Sinclair, who gave them an in depth run through of Garth Tander's car. After the tour, two team members, Royce Tang and Jayden Kennedy, stayed on to be "eyes on the wall". They got the chance to talk to a few of the mechanics and Scott in a bit more depth, discussing the car and their jobs. They also had the opportunity to gain valuable hands on experience sitting in the race engineers seats and help to analyse data during the sponsor rides.

We would like to thank Nick Ryan at Nissan motorsport, David Stuart at Erebus and Scott Sinclair at HRT for providing this great opportunity.









On the 14th of April, the WASCC had it's aptly named, April Race Meeting. It featured a full bill of Historic Touring Cars, Formula Vee and the extremely exciting, Sedan Super Cup featuring V8 Supercars, Porsche Carrera Cup cars and two Ferrari 458's.
In addition to watching the on track action, 6 members of the team took this opportunity to take the first step in becoming a CAMS accredited motorsport official.

Arriving at the crack of dawn, we quickly got put to work as pit lane officials. 
As the day progressed, we worked gridding up the cars and helped the starter.
 After this valuable day of training, the team members who took part will now be officiating for the WASCC at the V8 Supercars event on 3rd-5th of May. This is the largest event of the year for WASCC, and they are always on the look out for volunteers to help this event run smoothly.
The day was thoroughly enjoyed.

If anyone is interested in becoming a motorsport official, contact the WASCC atwascc@wascc.asn.au and they will be able to provide you with more details.










A Weekend South With UWAM


To wrap up the UWA study week, 19 members from UWA Motorsport travelled to the 2013 Quit Forest Rally and LF Performance Speed Event Series in Busselton to provide a static anddynamic display.

The three day trip was over the 5th to 7th of April with the LF Performance event sporting pretty much every type of enthusiast-level racecar from open wheel racers to performance sedans, and the Quit Forest Rally being the WA Round of the Australian Rally Championship. 

The static display attracted plenty of interest from dierent backgrounds, be they mechanics and drivers themselves, or just enthusiasts. The team had also been recognised from previous years' displays, it was good catching up with people we had spoken to years before. 

As was to be expected, 2011's Phoenix was a hit with the young crowd. Most interesting was the surprise and impressed look on parents' and teens' faces when they were told that these race cars were developed and fabricated entirely by UWA students. In nearly every case, people were immediately curious about the Engineering courses at UWA, and the ability of student engineers to produce such an impressive performance vehicle for an FSAE international competition. Many people asked for more information from promotional pamphlets and the UWA Motorsport Website.


While the static display was successful all Friday and Saturday, the dynamic display also gained much attention on the Saturday. We competed with the UWAM 2002 racecar, with Michael Millett as Mechanic Crew Chief, and Pete Marsh and Thomas Lapsley as Drivers.

Our best photographers Suzie Delahunt and Ray Hyland ventured out throughout the races to capture the team and the car, and operated the team's GoPro units to add to our media collection.

For most of us on the team, this was the rst time we had competed in a non-FSAE competition and it was an interesting participation as 2002 was the only car of its type, and denitely stood out from all of the other competitors.


We also seized the opportunity to train fresh crew that we had inducted from O-Day in Race Mechanic work and introduce them to the eects of engineering on the performance of the racecars we produce, by rotating them throughout the day with mentorship from experienced UWAM members.

Overall, the weekend was packed with worthwhile motorsport goodness, with every member, learning and having a great time representing the University and the FSAE educational project. A big commendation goes to Thomas Lapsley, our External Relations Manager, for organising and insuring that this event was successful.

Go to Gallery









On Thursday the 21st of March, Hatch and Williams presented a small engineering seminar and discussion for WA’s Fromula-SAE teams. Ten members from UWA Motorsport were invited to attend.

The seminar was presented as a Q & A session at the Hatch building on Stirling Street in Perth. James Colgate, Project Manager of Williams Advanced Engineering, was the primary speaker and was kind enough to answer most of our prying Formula 1 design questions.

Along with the talk we were given the chance to operate a pit stop with the half-cut of a raced Williams F1 car. The teams competed against each other to set the fastest single wheel change time. UWAM posted the fastest time of 5.7 seconds, a fun end to a fun morning. [check time ] The seminar concluded with photos and friendly chat between the presenters and teams – with a seemingly irresistible focus on the F1 front wing, vortex generators, suspension arms and brake ducts, which were in the rarely observed “feel free to touch and take photos” state.

This was another excellent opportunity offered to us that we are grateful to have received. UWAM is always eager to expand our knowledge and understanding of the sport and industry we are passionate about, and it is sessions like these that full our brains and bones with the desire to perform through engineering innovation.

A big thank you must go out to James and all the presenters and organisers from Hatch-Williams. We would also like to thank the SAE teams for putting on a brilliant session for all of us; we hope this can continue for many years to come.

Michael Millett.