Sports Car Club of America

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An example of the Formula SAE machinery you will see at the Lincoln competition. (Perry Bennett) An example of the Formula SAE machinery you will see at the Lincoln competition. (Perry Bennett) View Full Size

 

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 30, 2014) – For the third-consecutive year, SCCA will welcome a total of 100 Formula SAE teams to Lincoln, Nebraska, June 18-21, for their final meet of 2014. The Club will not only host, but administer the event held at the Lincoln Airpark in association with its philanthropic subsidiary – the SCCA Foundation.

Promoted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), SCCA members play key roles in every aspect of the event. Throughout the three-day meet, specially developed cars designed and constructed by students from around the country, and the globe, are put through a battery of tests including autocross, braking, endurance and business plan competitions.

“Formula SAE serves as a wonderful experience for students to combine education with an outside interest in a constructive, real-world way,” SCCA Vice President of Rally, Solo and Special Programs Howard Duncan said. “For students with no prior experience in motorsports, this program gives them a taste of what our world is all about. While it gives students with a racing background a place to merge their passion and skills.

“It is vitally important that the Club be a part of this program. It gives these students an opportunity to see some of what SCCA is all about: problem solving, competition and having fun with our cars.”

Active SCCA members who volunteer to work the event have the opportunity to get rewarded for their time spent supporting this fun event. Eligible SCCA Club Racing workers can use this event to earn credits toward their Volunteer Incentive Program account. If you are a member of the Solo community, there is an opportunity to earn free entry into a Nebraska Region Solo meet that follows FSAE Lincoln on June 22.

The competition, while hosted by SCCA, is put on by SAE, which is made up of more than 138,000 engineers and technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries, from all over the world. The goal of FSAE, in conjunction with the society’s other educational programs, is to give collegiate-level students from all over the world the chance to use engineering and other related skills in a real-world environment.

“As the leaders in amateur motorsports in the United States, it is our responsibility to be involved in encouraging programs like Formula SAE,” SCCA President and CEO Lisa Noble said. “It is about supporting the education of automotive engineers as they are the future of the motorsports industry. These highly-talented people will be the innovators and designers of the cars we race in the future.

“This is our opportunity to show FSAE competitors the passion,excitement and dedication that Club members have for our sport. And how it can be a part of their lives after graduation as they move into the workplace. This event also allows each of these students to better understand and appreciate the role that competition can play in the continued evolution of the automobile.”

In many ways, FSAE is like college athletics for motorsports. Teams made up of students are tasked with the goal to develop and build a prototype of a new autocross-specific car. Teams are allowed to use a variety of materials and performance enhancements, such as aerodynamic wings, to produce the car with the best performance.

While this opens the door for teams to utilize advanced materials, such as carbon fiber, teams are also judged based on the cost to produce these vehicles, as the proposed end goal is to mass produce these vehicles for consumers interested in a high-performance autocross vehicle. That means these cars must balance performance with cost to both the manufacturer and consumer.

Many of these students involved in the competition represent the future of the motorsports industry, and the automotive sector as a whole. Domestic and foreign auto makers, such as General Motors and Honda, use these events as a chance to find new, up-and-coming talent to add to their pool of engineers and designers.

The close geographical proximity of Lincoln means that many of the Midwestern schools involved in the program may enjoy a slight ‘home field advantage.’ A large number of schools from the SCCA’s Midwest Division have traditionally attended this event, including Kansas State University, Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, St. Louis University, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Oklahoma. Many of the students that make up these teams are also Club members, with some having already claimed National Championship honors.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Clancy Schmidt, SCCA Project Manager, at Clancy@sunflower.com, or Linda Duncan, SCCA Volunteer Coordinator, at lduncan65@hotmail.com.

Information on FSAE Lincoln is available here.

Additional information on the SCCA Foundation can be viewed by visiting this page.

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