The annual Formula SAE competition challenges college students to build an open-wheel racer from scratch, as seen here in this amazing time-lapse video of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign team fabricating a chassis.

Looking at the video you learn not only a lot about the process of fabricating a chassis, you also get a sense of how college students work. There's a flurry of activity at the beginning, people kind of move on, and then all of a sudden there's a rush towards the end. In the background, you can see them working on the frame for the SAE Baja competition. The final result will look something like last year's cars, pictured below.

Time-Lapse Video Makes Formula SAE Chassis Fabrication InterestingS

Time-Lapse Video Makes Formula SAE Chassis Fabrication InterestingS

Time-Lapse Video Makes Formula SAE Chassis Fabrication InterestingS

The competition, sponsored by the Collegiate Chapters of the Society of Automotive Engineers, is a starting point for many students interested in going "pro" some day in the automotive world. As you might imagine, we here at Jalopnik count at least two of our ranks as Formula SAE alumni, though they had me do the "marketing" work and Ben was more involved with the Baja competition than with formula. It's great fun, but not a particularly great way to meet girls, so we recommend college students couple the activity with the college literary journal.

Thanks to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign SAE Chapter for the video and photos. For more information on the competition, check out the Formula Series page.