Who we are
We are a team (read: family) of driven and passionate students from the University of Western Ontario in various faculties. Every year, we conceive, design, and build a formula-style racecar. Our vehicle competes in the FSAE series across North America, where it is judged against 120 other universities on it’s design and viability as a mass-produced consumer autocross racer.
Endurance: Our organization believes in the principle that you should leave something in a better condition than the one you found it in. In practice, this means that any student that walks through the doors of our shop, will be enriched in one form or another.
Enthusiasm: Our team has a passion for excellence in all that we do, because we love what we do. Our enthusiasm is what drives us to succeed and push the limits on what we think we are capable of.
How we started
Western Formula Racing started out in 1988, as a team supported and funded by the Mechanical Engineering department of the University of Western Ontario (now Western University). We kicked off with far fewer members and resources than we have now. It wasn’t until 1996 that we started competing regularly, on an annual basis.
Since then we’ve expanded from merely being an engineering team, into a campus-wide, eclectic organisation. We now gain the majority of our funding from external sponsors, and have a core group of 20 senior students on the team yearly.
Every design decision of the many teams that came before ours has left an impression on the car we build today, and on the indomitable character of WFR. We don’t like hearing or saying no. We’re only able to do that because of the long history and experience of our team.
What we do
Build car. Every year. Compete. Succeed.
But Western Formula Racing is more than just about building a wicked racecar; that’s just what brings us together.
If you ask our Business team, they would demonstrate to you that we’re a small business with real expenses, real revenues, and a very real product.
If you ask our Marketing and Events team, they might show you we’re in the advertising business or they might tell you we’re a not-for-profit, who supports local causes and charities.
And if you ask our Engineering cohort, they’d probably just say “racecar!”, and turn back to the whiteboard.
Why we do it. Why we stay.
We love it. Love our faculties; want to experience them with greasy hands and a lot of sparks in our face. We want the balance sheets, the promotional videos, the soldering, the presentations and the designs.
Many of us joined the team because we thought it would look good on a resume, and help to get a job. We heard the stats about how many Formula students get a job in Formula 1, or SpaceX or whatever dream job you could think up of.
That’s why we joined, but here’s why we stay.
It’s the best part of being in University
We may be a bit biased, but how can you argue against it when we get to take charge of running our own business, putting on our own events, and building an awesome car. When you’re on the Western Formula Racing team, you’re part of the family. You get to hang out with your friends everyday, create something incredible, travel, and meet people from all over the world!
It helps us do better in school
You might think that volunteering to be a part of such a high-calibre team, would detract from your studies; but instead WFR enhances your learning. We learned pretty fast that the stuff you are learning in school is actually valuable in the workforce (imagine that!). Once you realize that your learning has a purpose, and you can see that purpose, you don’t see going to classes, or doing your homework as a chore, but rather as a chance for self improvement.
And yes, it does help you get a job.
When you work on the team, you have access to an incredible network. Having to work closely with faculty, alumni and sponsors, we get to know a wide variety of people in every industry. If there’s somewhere you know you want to work after graduation – contact the company, get them involved with the team and you’ll be set.
How we do it
For the most part, we’re just students. We don’t have magical powers. We just have great support from our faculty, extended team, and sponsors. However, we are more dedicated than your average student. We study hard, because we know we need to apply it to something real. Right now. We’re not studying for a future job, or a future boss.
The engineers in our team get machine shop and welding training, as well as spending a lot of free time keeping up with the regulations of FSAE. We also have that funny ability to learn from past mistakes. We have the journal entries to prove it.
So get in touch, see how we operate firsthand.