UT Arlington to host 12th annual Texas Autocross Weekend
The University of Texas at Arlington will host a formal Formula Society of Automotive Engineers race for the first time during the 12th annual Texas Autocross Weekend July 13-15.
Schools attending the weekend event include UT Austin, Texas A&M, Wichita State, University of Kanas, University of New Mexico, University of Missouri and University of South Florida.
The UT Arlington Formula SAE racing team will have at least eight cars running in the event.
Included in the UT Arlington fleet will be its groundbreaking hybrid car – a project two years in the making. In May UT Arlington won the GM Best-Engineered Hybrid Award at the 2012 Formula Hybrid competition at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“The judges saw that our car was very sophisticated, so we proved our point,” said Bob Woods, mechanical engineering professor and UTA Racing sponsor. “We wanted to create a car that would dominate the competition, and we did that. The GM, Chrysler and Ford people would hardly let our students leave.”
The hybrid car starred in the endurance race, averaging 34-second laps in comparison to 44-second laps for the second-place hybrid team.
“We were the only team to have a huge crowd of people to watch us during the endurance race,” said 2012 team captain Lena Gerry. “That felt really good.”
Texas Autocross Weekend begins Friday, July 13, with an open house in Woolf Hall for participating schools. Teams will compare notes and make final adjustments to their cars before racing begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.
In the past, the Sunday race was held at venues such as Pennington Field in Bedford, but this year it will take place in Lot 49 at the corner of Cooper Street and Doug Russell Road. The race, sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America, begins at 9 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday festivities are free and open to the public. “If you’ve never seen these cars in action, you’ll be amazed,” Woods said. “These cars are fast.”
Woods said the program complements what students learn in a classroom.
“Real-world employers value the experience these students gain as part of the racing team,” Woods said. “It’s a program that’s not all based on what happens on the track. They learn team-building, how to solve problems and come up with new technologies.”
UT Arlington’s FSAE team is in its 30th year, and has won a record eight international titles. The team just placed second out of 66 schools at the Formula SAE West competition in Lincoln, Neb., June 20-23.
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.
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