On Thursday May 1st, we had the pleasure of attending the UW Formula Motorsports’ unveiling of their electric and combustion engine racecars for the 2014 Formula SAE season. Earlier this year, they approached us looking to receive a sponsorship for their 2014 season. We did not know much about this program, but were more than interested in supporting our local university with a sponsorship. We wanted to do our part in supporting local teams, schools, and students as we understand what it feels like to dedicate time and effort into designing and manufacturing a race car. We wanted to contribute to their final product and let the team experience the feeling of being able to stand back and say, “We built that.” We were really excited to see what they were going to do and after attending their unveiling, we were very pleased to see what they had accomplished. As we were watching their presentation of the program’s history, we were able to see that being a part of the UW Formula Motorsports team was more than just a school program to these students. It was a way of life. These individuals were a group of passionate students who came together and spent countless hours into building these racecars. It’s crazy to think how they’ve come so far since the beginning of the start of the program back in 1990. The program has been established for 25 years and the students, they don’t just sit in class and take notes on how to build these racecars, they learn by actually building these cars from the ground up.
During their presentation, there was a huge emphasis on not only the educational aspect of the program, but also being able to apply the knowledge to real world applications. We were most impressed by how the student program was structured to be taught and run as an independent functioning business entity, not an after school program. The students had to manage their own sponsors, their own finances and budgets, and their own resources. As a company, we understand how crucial it is to know all of that in order to function properly and for them, as students, to do all of that is a huge accomplishment. During the presentation, we were able to see all the different production teams that played crucial roles in building these cars.
More than a total of 90 students took part in designing, manufacturing, and testing these incredible machines. And in this past year, they’ve had many accomplishments as a team. At FSAE West in Lincoln, NE, they placed 1st out of 83 teams with their combustion engine car and 2nd overall with their electric car. In Germany, they placed 7th overall and out of 700 teams, they placed 7th worldwide. These are huge accomplishments and we wouldn’t be surprised if the 2014 were to bring just as much success and accomplishments for them, if not more. Following the presentation, everyone received a chance to go on stage and admire the team’s hard work that was put into the cars. As the season progresses, we look forward to working more with the UW FSAE Motorsports team to provide them with the tools necessary to be successful this season. We wish them with the best of luck!