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UC Formula SAE Team - Top Ten … Again!

Sunday June 29, 2008


Bearcat Motorsports, the University of Cincinnati Formula SAE Team, finished in
8th Place 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 2nd Place finish in the Autocross Event and a 13th Place finish in the
Endurance Event. In the Endurance Event, a 2.5 minute delay while a
mechanical problem was corrected cost the Bearcats a Top Three finish and
ultimately derailed the top finish ever for the Team. Nevertheless, this 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, CA 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 (students.sae.org/competitions/formulaseries/results/).


Bearcat Motorsports is one of fewer than ten teams that competed in all three
US 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 4th at the Michigan
FSAE competition in May 2007 and again placed 4th in the Formula Student
competition held at the Silverstone Circuit (www.silverstone.co.uk) in
England in July 2007. Earlier this year, Bearcat MotorSports finished 4th in the
Virginia FSAE event and finished 10th at the Michigan FSAE competition.


The California FSAE competition was full of interesting side stories. First, since
all but three members of the Team graduated on June 14 of this month, 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, as well as to prepare for
all of the driving events. 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 (www.navcon.com), was up every morning
at 6 am cooking breakfast for, and generally having a good time getting to know,
the Team. Jim and his daughter, Regan, both race at Auto Club Speedway and
were a great help loaning the Team their race trailer and other equipment. All in
all, it was quite an experience and the students represented the University in a
first rate fashion. 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.


Bearcat Motorsports (www.eng.uc.edu/studorg/sae/fsae/) 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 1/4 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, Mr. Randy
Alexoff, President 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.


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 (wisewk@email.uc.edu),
or Faculty Advisor, Professor R.J. Allemang (randall.allemang@uc.edu).