Tuned In

057: Where are Motorsport Powertrains Heading in the Future?

September 16, 2022 High Performance Academy
Tuned In
057: Where are Motorsport Powertrains Heading in the Future?
Show Notes

How does an endurance team get an engine to last 24 hours at full race pace? Just what the hell is motorsport mechatronics? And, the question you’re probably too polite to ask; what’s it like being female in an absolutely male-dominated industry like motorsport engineering?

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On this episode of the HPA Tuned In podcast, we’re joined by Hannah Westbrook, a motorsport applications engineer who spent nearly a decade developing products for MoTeC, and is currently working with Honda Performance Development on various race programs as a group lead, as well as studying for her masters in advanced motorsport mechatronics at university at the same time.

All this experience gives us a really interesting look into the upper echelons of motorsport electronics, and is especially relevant to anyone looking to take an academic path into the industry. 

The conversation starts off with Hannah’s university experience and heavy involvement in Formula SAE, first as a competitor and later as a judge. After completing her degree, Hannah jumped straight into working with MoTeC, and she talks to us about being thrown into the deep end after she was asked to assist top-tier teams with electrical equipment issues mid-race, four days into her new job. 

Hannah also provides an interesting look into the world of INDYCAR, IMSA, and LMDH racing from an engineering perspective, and jumps into a really interesting discussion around the future of motorsport powertrains. EV has its place, she thinks, but there are other avenues currently being heavily invested in that may well be the better choices. 

Lastly, the obvious question arises — what’s it like being female in such an absolutely male-dominated industry? In answering this question, Hannah provides a really interesting look into the motorsport world from her perspective — the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Follow Hannah here:
IG: @westbrook.hannah

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