Flinders team revs up for motorsports challenge

Engineering students Sam Carrodus, Max O’Connell, Rory Gilbert, Gordon Hensley and Joe McAuliffe.

Flinders University’s Motorsports team is lean, mean and ready to make an impact at one of the most competitive motor races in Australia.

Now all they need is a car.

Fortunately that’s just part of the deal at the Formula SAE-A Grand Prix, which requires teams to adopt a business model, including marketing, to attract sponsors willing to provide the approximately $55,000 required to fund the overall project.

The Flinders team, currently comprised of engineering students Rory Gilbert, Max O’Connell, Joe McAuliffe, Sam Carrodus and Gordon Hensley, was at Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus last week looking for talent to help them realise their dream of competing at the event in 2015.

Alongside the University of Adelaide’s car (which was kindly donated for the afternoon), the four spoke with interested students in a bid to fill some skills gaps for the challenging 18-month project.

Flinders Motorsports team manager Mr Gilbert said they will need up to 20 students, with experience in engineering, marketing and business, to get them to get them seats at the top table of Formula SAE-A’s student teams.

Mr Gilbert, who has previously competed as part of the University of South Australia’s team, said he was particularly excited about setting a team up from scratch at Flinders.

The University of Adelaide’s car, which was on display at Flinders last week.

“That’s definitely one of the best parts of this project for me,” he said. “It’s also just a great opportunity for students to show their skills off, and even enhance their career prospects, at a highly visible competition that attracts a lot of corporate interest.

“We plan on running the team just like a business, with engineers to build the car and other students to work in areas like marketing and publicity to bring in sponsorships to fund us. If we get the right people and sponsorships, I’m confident we can finish among the top teams.”

Team Engineering Manager, Max O’Connell, held out the exciting prospect of the chance for any team member to be chosen as the car’s eventual race driver.

“We want the best driver to compete, so that means every member of the team will get the chance to drive the car and the fastest driver will be the one who represents Flinders, regardless of which area they’ve worked in,” Mr O’Connell said.

If you’re interested in joining or sponsoring the Flinders Motorsports team, they can be contacted at Flindersmotorsport@gmail.com

The team is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FlindersMotorsports

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