The Formula SAE Competition


FSAE stands for Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, which is simply a class of formula car governed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The cars are open-wheeled, with a maximum displacement of 610 cc, a minimum wheelbase of 60 in, and a mandatory 20-mm intake restrictor. Weights range from under 350 lb to over 600 lb, with weights of 450-500 lb very common. Cars typically have steel tube space frames or carbon fiber monocoques with independent suspension. Average speeds in the main driving events are 40 to 50 MPH.


The original Formula SAE competition was held in Michigan in 1981, and has been held every year since. There are currently 120 slots for teams at this original competition, which fill up extremely fast. Other competitions are held in California, Italy, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, and now Virginia. Teams are awarded points based on their car's design, cost, a business presentation, and four dynamic events: the acceleration, the skidpad, the autocross, and the 22-km endurance race. All drivers and team members must be university students, and all racing is done against the clock.