Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Student 'supercar' heads to international design competition

The car and the team. From left: Sean Keller, Jason Van Winkel, Tim Mead, Liam Byron, Michael Butler, Dino Kudrass, Abby Neave, Andrew Sarratt and Dave Newell.
The car and the team. From left: Sean Keller, Jason Van Winkel, Tim Mead, Liam Byron, Michael Butler, Dino Kudrass, Abby Neave, Andrew Sarratt and Dave Newell.

A student-built "supercar" which reaches 100 km/h in under four seconds will compete in an international design competition in Australia next week.

The car, built by 13 Canterbury University mechanical engineering students in their final year, has been undergoing tests at the Wigram Air Force Museum in Christchurch.

Final tests on the car, which was shipped to Melbourne last week for the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia design competition on December 12, "went as good as we hoped", university spokesman Bruce Robertson said.

Ten students and two staff will travel to the event. Six students will drive in various events with other team members providing technical and logistical support.

The events include an endurance race, autocross race and acceleration test.

Abby Neave, will be behind the wheel for the acceleration and autocross events.

"She has done a considerable amount of driver training and has proved herself very capable behind the wheel," Mr Robertson said.

Raising enough funds to get to the competition, which is being held at Victoria University, was another hurdle the team had to overcome.

"The financial implications are heavy, especially considering students are generally broke. However we have found a number of sponsors, including the UC Mechanical Engineering Department and a range of external sponsors such as the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand," he said.

"They are very enthusiastic to support this project as they see how powerful it is as a means of boosting the ability and competitiveness of design focused engineers in our country."

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