Currently ranked third worldwide, the University’s MRacing Formula Society of Automotive Engineers Team unveiled its new car design for the upcoming season yesterday.
The team, which came in second place at the Formula Student Germany International Design Competition last August, presented their new car to an audience of corporate sponsors and Dave Munson, dean of the College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Due to its success, the team is now being sponsored by Roush Racing — a part of Roush Enterprises, a professional company specializing in modifying mustang engines.
University alum Brennan MacDonald, the MRacing project manager, said Roush Racing offered to help the team by producing a key part for the new car’s suspension system free of charge. MacDonald said this is a major improvement from years past as the team previously had to pay for the part.
“They became a major sponsor this year,” MacDonald said. “… it ended up being perfect because they have a ton of capabilities to machine stuff.”
This is also the first year the team has received funding from both the College of Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
At the unveiling, Engineering senior Nathan Lusk, the team’s captain, gave a speech acknowledging the team’s 25th anniversary and spoke about highlights of the last year.
“The past year has probably been our most successful year as a team,” Lusk said, adding that the team won more than $10,000 in prize money and placed third out of 475 teams internationally.
After Lusk spoke, Munson expressed his support for the team. He said UMMA was an appropriate spot to unveil the car because the car itself is a work of art.
“(It) is indeed a piece of artwork, but a functional artwork,” Munson said. “It is a true embodiment of the creative process, which is fundamental in many engineering feats and which ultimately stems from the team’s core values, which involve creativity and teamwork.”
MacDonald said the team hopes to place first in both the Michigan International Speedway competition in May and the Formula Student Germany competition in August.
Engineering junior Chris Bury, who manages the car’s breaks, said the team is currently composed of many younger students since several former members graduated last year.
“This year is more a year for everyone else to learn (since) we have a lot of younger members,” Bury said. “In terms of specific changes from last year, the car is two to three pounds lighter this year because we changed our systems a bit.”