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Formula SAE car team finishes seventh in Fontana

Team members pictured above are, front l. to r., Ryan McGavock, Ryan Sobotka and Steve Reeves. Back l. to r., Will Cook (kneeling), Marty Walker, Maria Holt, Mike More, Trevor Stoll, Matt Cartmell, Mark Schaumburg, Eric Manche, Jacob Brown and Michael Ramer. Not pictured are Ben Schweiss and Matt Nevil.

“My goal was that we would place in the top 15, so I was pretty proud to learn that we placed seventh,” Mizzou Engineering’s Formula SAE Car co-captain Ryan Sobotka said. “It was a real high point of my year.”

The team competed in Society of Automotive Engineer’s SAE International on the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. in mid-June. The seven-place finish is the second best in the team’s nine-year history, and Sobotka credits team members’ focus on reliability and endurance for their success.

“We were one of only a handful of teams that finished the endurance race. We were able to outlast some much faster cars because of improvements my very talented co-captian Trevor Stoll made to components such as the wheel hubs and the differential. The car performed flawlessly, we were never passed.”

With an eighth place finish in acceleration and a 16th in design, Marty Walker, team advisor and engineering’s director of administrative services, believes the team’s synergy played a leading role in the favorable outcome of the competition.

“In the face of adversity, they came together as a team to solve problems and support each other. There was such acceptance and appreciation of teammates’ ideas,” Walker said. “These young men and women are going to do well in their careers because working cooperatively is a critical engineering skill.”

The team is next set to compete in the SAE Australasia competition to be held in Weatherbee, Australia, Dec. 9 to 12. Follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MizzouFSAE.