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News Archive 2001 - 2010

UT Arlington Racing Team Sixth in International Competition

May 18, 2010

The Formula SAE racing team comprised of engineering students at The University of Texas at Arlington faced tough competition in the 2010 International Collegiate Design Series sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The team finished sixth overall among 120 entries from colleges and universities around the world.

The event, held May 13 - 15 at the Michigan International Speedway, was a true international competition, with entries from Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela.

“I’m proud of our team and their accomplishments,” said Mechanical Engineering Professor Bob Woods, the team’s advisor. “Some the teams from European universities had 50 team members and had already participated in four or more events using their cars, giving them time to fine-tune their cars and driving. We didn’t have those opportunities and still took sixth place.”

The UT Arlington car was powered by a single-cylinder, turbocharged, 250cc Honda motorcycle engine, replacing the four-cylinder, 600cc model used in previous cars. The change was made to reduce the car’s overall weight, an important factor in several performance categories in the competition. This was the smallest engine in the competition and was intended to improve fuel economy without much loss in power.

The strategy seemed to work, as the car achieved the best lap time in the endurance category, placed second in the skid pad category and fourth in the fuel economy category. The three entries finishing ahead of it in the fuel economy competition were designed strictly to achieve the best score there and not necessarily be competitive in the acceleration, endurance and handling categories. The team also placed third in the “Best Powertrain” award due to the engine development.

“Building and competing with this car was the best experience I’ve had,” said mechanical engineering junior Blake Hinsey, the team’s captain. “Sometimes exciting, sometimes exasperating. For instance, the piston in our engine shattered five days before we left for the competition, destroying the engine. We quickly replaced it and it ran perfectly. In fact, the only adjustment we made to the car when we arrived was to re-attach the nose cone.”

Dr. Woods said “The team worked for a full year designing and building this car. We want to thank our sponsors who make this possible for these students. We are now looking forward to entering Formula Hybrid with a racecar using a traditional engine and all-wheel electric motors.”

Shown in the photo (left to right): Dr. Bob Woods, Kevin Colwick, Tim Patek, Matt Sims, Lena Gerry, Eric Leichtle (chief engineer), Blake Hinsey (team captain) and Harlan Hoang. Team members not pictured: Andrew Dierdorf, Clayton Jalili, Sid Kashyap, James Merkel, Ryan Moody, Chris Moulckers, Jake Oberg and Shivani Patel.