Recently, I came across a report on a group of college students that are preparing a race contender for the 2010 24-hour race at the Nürburgring circuit. The students from Cologne University of Applied Science in Germany have added an even more interesting twist—the make and model of car.

You might think that because the students are from Germany that they might choose a Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or Volkswagen. That turns out not to be true in this case, instead the group of students are preparing a Ford Focus RS that is being supplied by Ford. The car will be entered under the name "Team FH Köln Motorsport" and will be driven by a four-driver team that will be announced as the May 15-16 event approaches.

The 24hr question—why? Basically, Ford is trying to reach out to institutions and the future generation of engineers. "Through this co-operation, Ford is broadening further its engagement with academic institutions to support the education of young engineers, some of whom may go on to work with Ford," said in a statement released by Ford. I know I would have loved to have this type of opportunity when I was at university.

It isn’t all fun and games, the students will be responsible for installing the KW suspension, Bastuck catalyst and exhaust system, TRW racing braking system, safety fuel tank and hydraulic on-board car jack. It truly is a hands-on experience. We wish them the best of luck on race day.