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UC Bearcat MotorSports in Top 4 Formula Form Again!

Bearcat MotorSports finishes first in Fuel Economy Event in the 2008 Formula SAE competition, held the last weekend of April at the Virginia International Raceway.

Date: 4/28/2008 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826

UC ingot  

Bearcat MotorSports, the University of Cincinnati (UC) Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Team, again finished strong, finishing in fourth place in the first race of the 2008 race season, continuing the team’s success from the 2007 race season.

The 2008 Formula SAE competition was won by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, followed by the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly Missouri-Rolla), the University of Illinois, the University of Cincinnati and then Drexel University.

Bearcat MotorSports finished first in the Fuel Economy Event, top 10 in all driving events, fourth in the Design Event and 13th or better in all other competition events for a very consistent showing. Official results will be posted shortly on the SAE Web site. UC was again the top university from the Big East Conference.

This finish marks the third race in a row that the Bearcats have finished in fourth place. In two races last year, Bearcat MotorSports finished fourth at the Michigan FSAE competition in May 2007 and again placed fourth in the Formula Student competition held at the Silverstone Circuit in England in July 2007.

Bearcat MotorSports is the UC student group that participates in Formula SAE, a collegiate design competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and supported by all of the major automotive companies and suppliers. The students are involved in design, cost analysis and sales/marketing presentations, as well as static and driving competitions against more than 28 other collegiate teams over four days.

This competition was the inaugural event at the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., for FSAE and was held in conjunction with the Bosch Engineering 250, a Grand Am Rolex Series Event. The competition involves the design, construction and testing of an open-wheel, Formula One-style racecar.

This event is the first event of the FSAE race season and is limited to 50 universities from all over the world. This year 43 teams registered, but 15 teams could not finish their cars in time for the competition. Bearcat MotorSports will compete in two other US FSAE event this season: the Michigan FSAE event from May 14–18, 2008 (140 universities), and the California FSAE event from June 25–28, 2008 (80 universities). Currently, there are other affiliated Formula SAE races in the United States, England, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Brazil and counting!

Bearcat MotorSports is partially supported by the University Funding Board, as one of several Academic Intercollegiate Competition (AIC) groups. Other funding comes from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the College of Engineering, the Herman Schneider Foundation, several large local industry partners (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Toyota, General Electric, Cummins, Ethicon Endosurgery) as well as a large number of smaller industry partners (DieCraft Machining & Engineering, Performance Electronics, Morris Technologies, SSK Industries).

Notably, a UC alumnus, Randy Alexoff, president of Vari-Wall Tube Specialists, has assumed a role as a major sponsor for the team the past several years, providing a significant amount of funding that has allowed the team to be more competitive.

This year’s team is dominated by senior mechanical engineering students. The team leader is Bill Wise (a five-year veteran of the team), who together with graduate student advisor Fred Jabs, Matt Warner, Skyler Street, Damien Loisy, Tony Louderbough and Todd Sohngen, operate as the Technical Committee. Tony Louderbough and Nick Ciavarro work together in the business leader role, managing funds and sponsorship efforts. Other team members include Nate Brown, Bob Czanik, Wesley Czech, Jay Davison, Chris Larsen, DJ Leisl, Dan Prince, Dan Ruggiero, Dennis Spitznagel, Ben Stayton, Chris Stough and Kyle Waymeyer, plus a number of other undergraduate students who contribute their time when possible.

Bearcat MotorSports will be holding a “Meet the Team” Event at the Catskeller, Level 1 of the Tangeman University Center (TUC), on Thursday, May 8, from 3–7 p.m. where this year’s car will be on display.

For more information, please contact team leader Bill Wise, special events coordinator Nick Ciavarro or faculty advisor Professor R.J. Allemang.