Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MRacing sets acceleration record at SAE event

Rocketing from 0 to 75 mph in 3.766 seconds, U-M’s MRacing Formula SAE team set an SAE Collegiate Design Series record in acceleration at the event held at Michigan International Speedway May 12-15.

MRacing driver Ryan Kraft speeds toward the finish line during the acceleration event at the SAE Collegiate Design Series. (Photo by Leo Li)

Racing against 120 teams from universities and colleges across the globe, the team had its best finish in 16 years. The Michigan team took second overall in the competition.

“It was very exciting,” says project manager and driver Katherine Lapham, a senior mechanical engineering student. “Our goal was to finish in the top five this year and we were aiming for top three. The top teams from Europe did come to the Michigan event this year.”

MRacing won first in the GM Acceleration Award, the FEV Powertrain Development Award and the Joe Gibbs Spirit of Innovation Award; and second in the Honda R&D Americas Inc Dynamic Event Award and the GM Endurance Award. The Gibbs award recognizes simulation that Sumeet Rai, a senior mechanical engineering student, has performed over the past few years.

This was the first of two international competitions the team participates in every year. The next is in Germany, Aug. 4-8.

“The whole team is ecstatic about our finish and we hope we can take this momentum overseas,” says team captain Chai Pocknett, a senior mechanical engineering student.

MRacing has been a College of Engineering student organization since 1986. The team came in first in this U.S. competition in 1994.

Pocknett credits the intense testing schedule for the team’s impressive finish.

“Some years, we only manage to do five days of testing. This year, we had more than a month,” Pocknett says. He thanks the college for giving the team access to the parking lot near their shop and Ford for allowing them to use space at Michigan Proving Grounds.