Formula SAE is an international engineering design competition that provides college students with the unique opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills through practical application. We create a formula-style, single-seat race car over the course of a school year in order to participate in FSAE California competition every June. The competition is comprised of dynamic events to test the vehicle’s performance and reliability and static events to test the rigor and feasibility of the engineering design and business strategy. The competition pushes the boundaries of conventional learning, pushing students to develop skills applicable to the professional world that are overlooked in traditional school curriculum.
Our FSAE team at UC Berkeley goes by the name Berkeley Formula Racing. We are student run and organized with a diverse set of dedicated individuals. Although we are primarily a Mechanical Engineering organization, we have members from a variety of different majors including EECS, IEOR, ChemE, Physics, and Business. The team is arranged into ten different subsystems that work on specific parts of the vehicle: Aerodynamics, Brakes and Driver Interface, Business, Chassis, Drivetrain, Electrical, Electrical Solid Parts, Engine, Suspension, and Vehicle Dynamics.
How fast does the car go?
70 mph – We tune it for optimal performance on tight autocross courses that don’t require high speeds (theoretically the engine can go faster, ~90 mph). We can accelerate from 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds.
Who gets to drive the car?
We have a minimum of five student drivers for competition. They are specially trained to drive the car and usually have some form of previous racing experience.
What is the car made out of?
It is made out of carbon (wings & bodywork), steel (chassis) and aluminum (parts) designed and built entirely by students.
What parts do you make and what parts do you buy?
We make almost all 500 parts on the car. We purchase the engine, turbo, shocks, differential, data logger, and tires—the rest we build by ourselves.
Does it have an electric motor?
No, we use an internal combustion engine. We won first place in fuel efficiency in 2016.
Where do you guys race?
We compete once a year in Fontana, California against 80 other teams from around the world. Before competition, we test our car extensively at our own facility in Richmond, or we go to local tracks such as Blue Max Kart Club in Davis, CA and Sonoma Raceway.
How well does Berkeley’s team do?
We are one of the top teams in competition. Our car has consistently placed in the top 10 in major events for the past 6 years. Examples:
- B13: 7th in Design
- B14: 8th Overall
- B15: 5th in Design and Skidpad
- B16: 8th in Design
- B17: 4th in Design, 7th in Skidpad
- B18: 8th in Skidpad
- B19: 16th Overall, 3rd in Business
- B20: Distinction in Design
How can I join?
Check out our Apply page and follow us on social media for more info! We usually have a kickoff event at our garage workshop out at the Richmond Field Station (transportation and food are provided).
What experience do I need to have to join the team?
You don’t need to have any prior experience with racing cars or engineering in general. All we look for in new members is enthusiasm and dedication!