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E-Motorsports: “HofSpannung” starts with full power into a new season!

Building a better race car every year – that is the declared goal of the HofSpannung Motorsport e.V. association at Hof University. Students from a wide range of disciplines invest a lot of heart and soul and free time in order to be competitive with their vehicles in the international “Formula Student” racing series. For many students, this commitment has meanwhile also paid off personally – they find their way to well-known automobile manufacturers or even to larger racing teams. What they all have in common is a passion for motorsport.

Passion and lifeblood: part of the large HofSpannung team in the workshop in the D building of the university: from left Antonia Daubner; Johannes Zahn; Simon Kolb; Johannes Dietrich; Moritz Hüttner; Timo Meyer; Christian Kießling; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

“The beginning of the winter semester is always the start of a new racing season – now we are planning our new car. So the question at this time of year is always: what can we improve on the previous model?” says Timo Meyer (22), a computer science student and 1st board member of the “HofSpannung” association. In the catacombs of the Hof University of Applied Sciences, his gaze falls on a workshop where, in the truest sense of the word, calculations are being made, screws are being tightened and welding is being done. A total of 25 active students work here on a regular basis, in some cases spending a lot of time, to make their electric racing vehicles as fast and successful as possible.

Membership record shows passion and solidarity

But “HofSpannung” is by no means a project for a few years: In the meantime, entire generations of students have been working since 2012 on ever better technical solutions for ever faster and more powerful electric vehicles. It’s not just the look that has changed in the process, but also a great deal has always happened “under the hood,” according to Timo Meyer, who is primarily responsible for the vehicle’s e-technology and software. “This hobby and the experiences associated with it connect far beyond my studies,” says Christian Kießling, a materials engineering student and 2nd board member of the “HofSpannung” association; he mainly takes care of the association’s administration

Very popular for getting a taste of motorsport: the HofSpannung internship test days at Hof-Plauen Airport; Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

And proudly he adds: “We just cracked the sound barrier of 100 members. That shows how much former active members stay connected to us to financially support the project even after they leave university.”

International races and competitions

“The shared experiences,” of course, are the races that the team regularly completes. Formula Student hosts its events in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands or Spain, among other places. The team presents the respective vehicle there, drives it and also otherwise enters into a competition with other teams

There are both the dynamic speed disciplines and static disciplines such as competitions on design, business plan or technical construction.”

Timo Meyer, 1st board member HofSpannung e.V.

Not infrequently, he says, HofSpannung has done very well there. Meanwhile, the next highlight of the season will be the rollout of the new vehicle. “All sponsors and supporters will be invited, the new car will be demonstrated and the development process will be explained in a compact form”.

A racing competition in Italy; Image: HofSpannung e.V

Many skills needed

Working in the motorsport team is not just suitable as a hobby for budding engineers: “Our team is divided into the departments of mechanics, electrics and software, as well as business – we can use students from really all fields of study and specialization for this,” says Christian Kiessling. And he continues: “While the mechanical department is actually dominated by engineers, mechanical engineers, environmental engineers and industrial engineers, the electronics department is staffed by trained electronics engineers and mechatronics engineers as well as computer scientists. In the business department, on the other hand, competencies in finance, accounting and also marketing are in demand.” There is also always a need for new talent and new team members. Enthusiasm for motorsports is not a prerequisite for joining the team, but it is an advantage, especially in the technical departments, when it comes to understanding the facts.

Committed sponsors from business, research and society

Of course, the construction of ever newer cars is anything but inexpensive. A car costs “between 80,000 and 100,000 EUR, and the trend is rising,” estimate those responsible. But the regional economy has also long since noticed the well-trained workforce that has grown out of the “HofSpannung” team and is getting involved accordingly. Although Hof University of Applied Sciences is still the biggest supporter of the racing team, companies such as REHAU, Lamilux, Rapa, Stadtwerke Hof or Dachser have also been active as sponsors, in some cases for years. “We are really grateful for this network and try to repay the support with great commitment,” says Christian Kiessling.

Changing tires also needs to be practiced in e-motorsport; Image: HofSpannung e.V.;

Skilled workers remain in demand

“Students can build up many networks during their time at HofSpannung and also benefit from them after graduation,” Timo Meyer is convinced. After all, they are not only good professionals, but also excellent team players. That’s why quite a few of the active students went straight to major automakers after graduation, where they developed electric motors or are researching the future of autonomous driving. “Of course, there are also some who remain loyal to racing. One former team member went straight into Formula E,” Timo Meyer says proudly.


Anyone with a desire for teamwork and companionship can get involved in our club. Interdisciplinary learning and personal development are equally important aspects that help you in your career choice, but also in life in general.”

Christian Kiessling

Anyone who would like to drop in on “HofSpannung” should register in room D065 in the D building at Hof University of Applied Sciences or send an e-mail to info@hofspannung.de

Rainer Krauß

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