The diverse nature of Motorsport can often provide many unexpected opportunities for intelligent and hardworking individuals. And although many young graduates and aspiring Motorsport Engineers naturally aim for Formula One, the pinnacle of Motorsport, it is unwise to ignore the wide variety of other categories which welcome graduates to learn their craft.
In this interview with Motorsport Engineer, David Sampayo Lozano explains how a love for Formula One inspired him to pursue a career within Motorsport Engineering and how he ended up entering the world of endurance racing!
“Do not be afraid of applying for internships or jobs, even if you do not feel qualified”
Please introduce yourself to Motorsport Engineer, what is your history within Motorsport?
My name is David Sampayo Lozano and I am from Gijón, a city located in the northern coast of Spain.
I have been living in Gijon since I was born and I even studied a mechanical engineering degree there, but I have recently moved to Barcelona where I am studying a Motorsport Msc (at Monlau Repsol Technical School) combined with an internship for a WEC team (High Class Racing) as a systems and Data Engineer.
I do not have any prior motorsport experience as a professional, however, during my degree studies I have been involved in activities related to motorsport, such as being part of the University of Oviedo’s formula student team in the aerodynamics crew, as well as creating a technical paper that will be published soon (International Journal of Simulation Modelling, June 2021) as part of my final degree thesis which consisted on the design of a kart’s chassis using multi body dynamics analysis combined with finite element analysis.
What does your role entail?
My role is as a Data and Systems Engineer for High Class Racing.
Generally speaking, my role consists of doing some basic engineering tasks for the engineering crew whilst gradually taking more responsibilities race by race.
My main tasks are checking all the vital signals of the race car when it is on track through the telemetry, this involves checking that all main sensors are working, and all systems are on its correct working conditions (pressure, temperatures, etc.). Then, when the car is back in the garage I am in charge of the data and the process of uploading it to the team’s server for an in-depth post analysis.
In future races, I will be taking responsibility of the management of the car’s blanking, breaks and tires wear as well as the sensor’s calibration.
What is the best part of your role?
The best part of my role is putting into practice all the stuff that I am learning whilst completing my Master’s degree, whilst learning new things through my experience with the High Class Racing team.
Also, as a motorsport fan, it is incredible to visit such iconic circuits!
What do you consider your breakthrough moment into Motorsport and how did it occur?
My breakthrough moment was undoubtedly this year because I had the opportunity to start my career in a big championship – the WEC!
How important was education in helping you achieve your professional goals?
Education has definitely been really important for me to achieve my goals.
I have always been striving for a career in motorsport and through university, I have been able to work on several different projects related to the motorsport world. Furthermore, recently my engineering school has given me the opportunity of enrolling with High Class Racing crew as an intern in their Engineering department.
What sparked your interest in engineering and what made you decide to pursue a career in Motorsport?
My interest in motorsport started from an early age. I have been a Formula One fan since I was a child, and since then, I have always had the dream of one day working within motorsport. Through the years, my dream of working within motorsport has led me to research how to develop a career in the field.
Later, when I had to decide what to study, I decided to study mechanical engineering for a later specialization in motorsport. This decision was made because I have always been keen on mechanics, and I felt that studying mechanical engineering would help me to understand the behaviour of the mechanical elements and how to make them perform.
How did you achieve your position with High Class Racing?
Two months ago, High Class Racing approached my current engineering school (Monlau Repsol Technical School) to offer an internship position. I then went through a selection process, including a CV selection and a personal interview among the interested students, and finally they decided to hire me for the position.
What are your professional goals for the future within the Motorsport industry?
Right now, I am focused on finishing this season with High Class Racing, learning as much as possible and gaining valuable experience for the future. But looking further ahead, I would be eager to participate in design, simulation and testing tasks for a racing team or a racing cars manufacturer.
What do you consider the greatest achievement of your career so far?
Although my career is so short, I would consider as a great achievement the publication of a technical paper, and for sure the opportunity of working for a full season in a championship as prestigious as WEC.
What advice would you give to aspiring young motorsport engineers?
I would advise aspiring motorsport engineers to always keep working and learning new things related to motorsport and to try to specialize themselves, finding an area of motorsport engineering that they enjoy.
I would also say, do not be afraid of applying for internships or jobs, even if you do not feel you are prepared or qualified.
Thank you David for sharing your inspiring story with Motorsport Engineer, we wish you and High Class the best of luck for the WEC season!
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