The Virginia Tech Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), a student design team tasked with designing a Formula-style race car to showcase on-track safety and problem-solving skills, finished 9th out of 25 teams at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and 28th out of 100 teams at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
At VIR, the team placed 3rd in design, 4th in acceleration and 6th in autocross. At MIS, the team placed 12th in design, 10th in presentation and 13th in autocross.
The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a student design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is then evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules to ensure on-track safety (the cars are driven by the students themselves) and promote clever problem solving.
“Over the past year, we’ve worked very hard to design, develop and improve the 2009 car,” said Ryan Gaylo of Virginia Tech Formula SAE ’09. “The Virginia Tech Formula SAE team takes pride in the cars that are produced every year, and we believe that it displays our hard work, dedication and pursuit of knowledge. VT Motorsports is considered one of the elite teams to come to competition; it is our sponsors’ generous donations that make us stand above the rest.”
Among the sponsors was U.S. Chemical & Plastics, internationally recognized for formulating and manufacturing premium body filler and refinishing products.
“They did a great job!” said Laura Yerkey, marketing manager for U.S. Chemical & Plastics. “This team of 50 talented and enthusiastic mechanical engineering students fashioned their formula car from concept to reality, which is no easy task. Not only did they get to put their education and skills to use, they also learned the value of teamwork and competition. U.S. Chemical & Plastics couldn’t be more proud of the VA Tech Formula SAE Team; we were glad to be their sponsor of choice for body filler.”