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UC FSAE Team Finishes a Successful 2008 Season with a Flourish

Bearcat MotorSports, UC’s Formula SAE team, finished in 8th place overall at the California Formula SAE competition, the third and last race of the 2008 FSAE race season. The Bearcats have now finished in the top ten five races in a row.

Date: 6/30/2008 12:00:00 AM
By: Wendy Beckman
Phone: (513) 556-1826
Other Contact: Randall Allemang

UC ingot  

Bearcat MotorSports, the University of Cincinnati’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team, finished in eighth place out of 83 registered teams overall at the California Formula SAE competition, the third and last race of the 2008 Formula SAE race season.

The team finished very strong with a second-place finish in the Autocross Event and a 13th-place finish in the Endurance Event. In the Endurance Event, a 2.5 minute-delay to fix a mechanical problem cost the Bearcats a top-three finish.

Nevertheless, this final race concludes a very successful race season with three top-ten finishes out of three races. The 2008 Formula SAE competition, held at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., over the last four days, was won by the University of Delaware, followed by the Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Oklahoma and Michigan State University. Official results will be posted shortly on the SAE Web site.

Bearcat Motorsports is one of fewer than ten teams that competed in all three U.S. Formula SAE races this year and one of only two teams that finished in the Top Ten in each race along with Missouri University of Science and Technology. This finish marks the fifth race in a row that the Bearcats have finished in the top ten. 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. Earlier this year, Bearcat MotorSports finished fourth in the Virginia FSAE event and finished tenth at the Michigan FSAE competition.

Bearcat MotorSports

The California FSAE competition was full of interesting side stories. First, since all but three members of the team graduated on June 14, only seven team members (Bill Wise, Damien Loisy, Todd Sohngen, Chris Stough, Wesley Czech, Dan Ruggiero and Fred Jabs) traveled to California to compete. This group includes two underclass members who will form the nucleus of next year’s team. This smaller group pulled together to cover all of the technical presentations required as part of the FSAE completion and prepared for all of the driving events as well.

Next, at the last minute, the shipping arrangements for the car fell through and alternate plans had to be arranged. Through a friendship between the faculty advisors for both teams, Michigan State offered to transport the car and tools in their semi-truck trailer, sharing the cost of gas — and the race was on.

Finally, a UC College of Engineering alumnus, Jim Steedman and his family offered to put the team up in their home. Jim Steedman, president of NAVCON Engineering Network , was up every morning at 6 a.m. cooking breakfast for the team and generally having a good time getting to know the students.

“Jim and his daughter, Regan, both race at Auto Club Speedway and were a great help lending the team their race trailer and other equipment,” says team faculty advisor Randy Allemang, professor of mechanical engineering at UC.

“All in all, it was quite an experience and the students represented the university in a first-rate fashion,” Allemang adds. “A number of new friendships were made with the Michigan State team and the Steedman family which, together with another very successful race, left the team with a priceless memory and a great experience.”

About Bearcat MotorSports
Bearcat MotorSports is the UC student group that participates in Formula SAE (FSAE), a collegiate design competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and supported by all of the major automotive companies and suppliers. This California Formula SAE competition was the third year for the FSAE competition at the Auto Club Speedway (formerly Cal Speedway). The competition involves the design, construction, and testing of an open-wheel, Formula One style racecar. The students are involved in design, cost analysis and sales/marketing presentations as well as static and driving competitions against more than 80 other collegiate teams over four days. The California FSAE competition is the third event of the US FSAE race season and is limited to approximately 80 universities from all over the world. This year, 83 teams registered with 65 teams actually competing in the event. The UC team’s success in this and other recent events stems from the ability to develop a quick and reliable racecar. With the temperatures approaching 100 degrees this year at the Auto Club Speedway, only a fourth of the teams were able to finish the Endurance Event. 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 taken on the team as a major sponsor the past several years, providing a significant amount of funding that has allowed the team to be more competitive.

2008 was a good year for Bearcat MotorSports.
Bearcat MotorSports 2008 Team (Advisor Allemang is at right)

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.

For more information, please contact team leader Bill Wise or faculty advisor Professor R.J. Allemang.

Follow the Bearcats' tracks:

UC Formula SAE Team in the Top 10!
Bearcat MotorSports finished strong, winding up in tenth place overall in the second race of the 2008 race season.

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.

UC’s Formula Car Finishes Fourth in International Competition
Bearcat MotorSports was the only U.S. team to place in the top five at Formula Student competition in Silverstone.