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Managing their own race team, Villanova Engineering Students Prepare for Formula SAE at Michigan International Speedway

NovaRacing prepares for 2014 Formula SAE competition.

A group of Villanova engineering students are managing their own race team. This week, NovaRacing will pack up their racecar, and travel to Michigan International Speedway for the annual International Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) competition.

Over the course of the last year, this NovaRacing team – a group of 25 students in the College of Engineering – has been designing, manufacturing and testing their open-wheeled car based on competition rules that foster both creativity and technical skill.

A true real-world experience, these students are managing all aspects of their own race team – from vehicle research, design and manufacturing, to finances and sponsorships. While not judged as part of the competition, sponsorships play a large role in the team’s work. NovaRacing has a set itemized budget of around $55,000. Half of that budget comes from the College of Engineering. The other half is the team’s responsibility to raise through sponsorships. Some of the team’s largest sponsors include Ford, McCarthy Tire and Automotive Center, Royal Purple and Bally-Ribbon Mills.

The upcoming 22 km Formula SAE endurance race at Michigan International Speedway assesses the overall performance of the car. However, the competition not only judges teams based upon their car’s on-track performance (including acceleration, skid-pad, autocross, endurance and fuel efficiency). Teams are also judged on a design presentation and cost analysis report, as well as a simulated business presentation to venture capitalists considering an investment in the team’s engineering firm.