Picture a inter-varsity racing competition with a difference:
The whole thing would be carried out on scaled-down remote-controlled vehicles (1:8, or even 1:4 to 1:2 if possible) with real hardware. I.e. where possible, scaled-down versions of transmission, engine blocks, etc. would be used. Car-mounted
stereo camera units transmit the L/R images back to head mounted displays so the drivers could still have depth perception as their cars barreled round the track. The system would use videogame-style steering and peddle, instead of the twin-stick or handheld controllers.
The idea is to develop a research platform and a competence in micro manufacturing, for feasible technologies that would be scaled up to actual size.
Since the action is scaled down, the effect would be much more dramatic from the drivers point of view, kinda like driving 300kph in a real vehicle, minus the G-feedback, but that can be solved by motion control rigs (limited G's). You wouldn't need special circuits, as normal roads could be used (barring potholes which would look like you're driving off the grand canyon, I guess), bringing the action 'closer to home' so to speak, and thusly also making things much cheaper to operate, while still maintaining the same (albeit smaller) visual spectacle.
No danger where collision is concerned (unless the car runs off into a grandstand - I figure 1/4 scale cars are still plenty heavy). Video feeds can be fed back to a director's panel and prepped for on-site monitors or even broadcast. The whole thing would be done on each of the participating campuses, sort of like a racing series.
Hopefully, this would enable smaller (er.. no pun) educational institutions to develop technologies for real-world applications.