Days of thunder

Opel sponsors six university racing teams in Germany and three in the U.S.


More famous faces on the stage, more faces in the crowd and more professional performance: the roll-out events of Scuderia Mensa, the Formula Student racing team from RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, have long become a tradition at the Opel Auditorium. This year, the students have kicked it up a notch – in every way.


For Opel, the show was a perfect fit. Just one week earlier, the company had signed a three-year agreement with Formula Student Germany making it one of the organization’s main sponsors and expanding its commitment to the entire Formula Student racing series. Opel also started supporting the racing teams from Technische Universität Kaiserslautern and Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen in Gießen this year. As a result, Opel now sponsors six university racing teams in Germany and three in the U.S.

Getting to know the industry’s brightest talents
This year’s Scuderia Mensa roll-out demonstrated again just how successful this concept is. The guests included numerous former team members who today work at Opel, such as Yannic Brose, a validation engineer who used to be the student captain of electrics for the racing team. “Just being a part of the races was a great experience. And it’s true: The contacts made while being part of the Scuderia Mensa team also helped me get my foot in the door at Opel later on.”


“The same passion for cars”

said Charles J. Klein in an interview on the company’s commitment to Formula Student Germany.


Mr. Klein, what makes Formula Student so interesting for Opel?
Formula Student allows us to deliver on our tremendous social responsibility by helping students gain hands-on experience in automotive development and engineering. At the same time, our commitment also allows us to build a network to the best and brightest young talents in our industry – and possibly recruit them for our company. It’s a real win-win situation.

What makes the students so special for Opel?
First of all, the fact that they have the same passion for cars that sets our employees apart. Their projects force the students to become familiar with the complete automotive development process.

They have to learn to work together to solve problems and tackle unusual technical challenges. In a nutshell, they learn efficient teamwork, just like the kind that is also the key to success at our company.

The students are willing to take on extra responsibilities to do so:
Their commitment to Formula Student is extracurricular, meaning they have to continue going to school while participating in the project. That’s a huge amount of extra work, no doubt about it. But there’s also something good about that: It teaches the students early on how important it is to be able to manage your own working hours.



Today he is validation engineer, once Yannic Brose (right) was team leader “Electrics” in the student team.


Yesterday a team captain, today an Opel engineer
Mirjam Groth and Thilo Oppermann are two former team captains who now work for Opel,” says Udo Zuck, who is in charge of coordinating Opel’s support of the various racing teams. Thilo Oppermann will also be a part of the panel of judges set to choose the recipient of the first Opel Style Award at the Formula Student race at the Hockenheimring in early August. The award is Opel’s way of recognizing particularly clever design and package solutions.

After all, the academic racing series is no longer just about having the fastest car in the competition. The college teams also have to plan and oversee the entire automotive production process chain, including budgeting and controlling. Every aspect is included in the overall score. “In Formula 1, it’s all about the last two seconds. In Formula Student, it’s all about the big picture,” said Thomas Wagner, who led through the roll-out, summing up the idea.


SPR15E is five seconds faster
The host had the privilege of welcoming Charles J. Klein and other high-profile guests, such as Wilfried Friedl, Chancellor of RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, and Rüsselsheim Lord Mayor Patrick Burghard. The former Scuderia Mensa electric racer is on display at the city’s town hall.

Despite the famous faces on the stage, the real star of the show was the brand-new SPR15E, the electric racer that Scuderia Mensa is entering in the 2015 series. The car is more powerful and impressive than its predecessors in every way. “We’ll be five seconds faster per lap on the Hockenheimring,” Team captain Richard Scholz promises.





Text: Eric Scherer, Photos: Asterion

 Last updated: July 2015

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