QUT Motorsport Unveils 2020 EV, Lando
On the 19th of November 2020, our team held our annual Launch Night to unveil our 2020 EV race car, Lando.
The evening began with a welcome to everyone who was in attendance including team sponsors, QUT staff, friends, family and industry. Their support has been crucial to the success of our team and has made so much of what we have done possible. The team is incredibly grateful for their ongoing guidance and encouragement.
Before the unveil, attendees heard from a few members of our Leadership Team including Team Principal, Luke McCallum, Media Coordinator, Alison Powell and Isaac Baldry, Documentation Lead. They were introduced by our 2021 Team principal, Chamath Dharmasiri.
We were also grateful to be joined by the Vice-Chancellor and President of the Queensland University of Technology, Professor Margaret Sheil along with the heads of school in the Science & Engineering Faculty.
QUT Motorsport team members with the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Sheil, Mark Broadmeadow, David Holmes, Yuantong Gu, Geoff Walker & Stephen Kajewski.
Among those who spoke was QUT Motorsport's Academic Supervisor, and Senior Lecturer for the Science & Engineering faculty, Dr. David Holmes:
"It's my absolute pleasure to supervise this group of wonderful students. It's been really amazing what they've been able to achieve this year and in previous years and particularly to see many of them grow and improve in their engineering and design work, business work and in various other things.
In 2019 we unveiled the car roughly around this time last year and we successfully went to competition for the first time in a number of years. We brought home our first trophy in a number of years. We did better in static events than we've ever done in competition and this car's really been built on that success and it's a direct evolution of that which is a key part of all engineering work. So, thats one of the major things that this year sort of set out to do. The other really major thing is what the team composition that has actually changed. So, typically this team in the past has been very mechanical engineering oriented; many of the students were mechanical engineers because of previous internal combustion cars and so forth. We've had a select group of really talented electrical engineers and computer systems and so forth that have done a huge amount of work on previous cars.
This year for probably the for the first time in QUT's history I can really say that we have a properly balanced team where by the electrical engineers probably outnumber mechanical engineers at this point. We have an amazing group of software team so that's computer systems engineers, IT, computer science students as well and also mechatronics engineers which have had a huge impact on the team. As well as our business / marketing team which is growing and been really successful in some of the sponsorship outcomes that you'll see later as well as a lot of the really beautiful marketing media that you've seen and directly related to that.
So the benefit of this is that instead of just a team of mechanical engineering students trying to build a race car, it's actually a direct analogue for what happens in industry. So it's a diverse team of multiple different disciplines both engineering and outside of engineering working together to produce something that is really amazing as you'll see. So what these students have provided is also equal to what they're actually getting out of the experience: working together seeing into the different disciplines."
QUT Motorsport's Launch Night live stream
Our Launch Night marked less than a month before our team heads out to Queensland Raceways for our unofficial competition with UQ Racing and Griffith Racing. It is also shortly before our team will take part in the online static events for the FSAE-A competition. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 this year's physical competition in Victoria was cancelled, however our team still wanted to build this year's car despite the many challenges faced.
Our team during our launch evening.
We were also grateful to be joined on the night by the parents of our Vehicle Dynamics Lead, Tom Hardyman who passed away earlier this year. This year’s car is particularly special as it is in tribute to him and his love of McLaren and Formula One driver, Lando Norris. As such, our team designed our car’s 2020 livery around the McLaren F1 car (MCL34) and named our car 'Lando.' Tom had his very own McLaren MP4-12C with the number plate 'VRY NICE' so we felt it was only fitting that we give Lando it's own 'VRY NICE' number plate to match.
The livery this year was painted for us by Brisbane BMW Bodyshop as they came on board with us this year as a sponsor and helped us bring to life our McLaren livery concept as a tribute to Tom.
Lando was unveiled at the end of the presentation by our Mechanical lead, Austin Bury and Electrical Lead, Tom Benedetti.
This year so far has been one of the most trying but also one of the most rewarding and we can only hope that we have done our friend, teammate and inspiration proud.
We would like to again, thank our sponsors, QUT Staff members & family for their unwavering support throughout this project. Their encouragement has been a large part of what makes us run successfully as a team. We would especially like to thank the Hardyman family for attending our launch and for their continued support, we consider you very much part of our team.
Overall, the Launch and reveal of Lando marked a significant milestone for the team and this was built upon when Lando drove for the first time in the following weeks:
We also had 10 News First come down to our first ever track day with Lando and feature the team in a news segment!
Photos by: Michael Hanau, Alison Powell & Luke Tucker