A lot of people love race cars, but how many of us can say we know how to build one? Enter the international Formula SAE competition, which gives undergraduate students the chance to design, build and race their own car - which we're kind of fascinated by, given the fact we can barely manage to reverse park.

So we asked two University of Waikato mechanical engineering students, Todd Carswell and Josh McIntyre, to tell us more about how to build a race car on the cheap, and what it's like to take part in the competition.

Josh and Todd are part of the University of Waikato "WESMO" team of mechanical and electrical engineering students, and the race car they helped build can go from 0 to 100 km/hour in less than four seconds and hit speeds of 160 km/hour - which is pretty crazy considering they built it all with funds they'd raised themselves. The team is now placed 6th in the Australasia league, and are number 87 out of 600 universities around the world.

They were kind enough to take time out of their Formula SAE Australasia prep - they'll be competing in the next international race from December 11-14 in Melbourne - to take part in a Google Hangout with us, where our director of partnerships Fiona asked them all about the tools they used to design the car, where they sourced the parts from, and the future of race car engineering. We also had lots of questions from the audience and some budding engineers. 

You can watch the full livestream above (and laugh at Fiona for not knowing what a flux capacitor was).

Thanks so much to the team for chatting with us, and good luck to all the student teams competing in Melbourne next month. We totally forgive you for making us feel like underachievers.

If you love engineering, find out more about the courses on offer at the University of Waikato - and how you can be part of the WESMO team too.

Source: University of Waikato