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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Student Auto Racing Team Wins “Driver of the Year” Award

March 11, 2004

Student members of The University of Texas at Arlington’s Formula SAE racing team received an unusual salute from the Texas Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) during the Club’s annual banquet. The team received the “Driver of the Year” award, which normally is awarded to one person.

The SCCS bestows this annual award to one of three categories: road racers, rally (off road) racers and autocross racers. The UTA team is in the autocross category. Competition in this category involves single cars negotiating a weaving course marked by traffic cones in a parking lot.

In presenting the award, the SCCA cited the UTA racing program’s long-term commitment to the sport, the recognition that UTA teams have gained locally, nationally, and internationally, and what UTA teams have contributed to the sport. One of the main reasons UTA’s Formula SAE team was selected was due to its showing at the SCCA National Solo II competition held in Topeka, Kansas in September. In that competition, UTA had five drivers in the first six places in its class. There were 14 drivers in the open class and one driver in the ladies class, which UTA won as well.

In addition to the drivers’ accomplishments, UTA team advisor Dr. Bob Woods of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department was instrumental in getting Formula SAE cars recognized with their own class for the first time this year. Woods has advised all of UTA teams and was instrumental in developing many of the rules and regulation governing Formula SAE competitions. Formula SAE was created more than 20 years ago as a way to get college students involved in designing, building and driving race cars.

UTA Formula SAE teams have won national collegiate competitions in the U. S. eight times in 18 years, plus wins in Great Britain and Australia.