Mizzou Racing seeks sponsors in support of Australasia race
The College of Engineering’s Formula SAE team, Mizzou Racing, took fifth place in overall scoring among the 80 teams competing at the 2015 FSAE competition held in June in Lincoln, Neb.
Now, in a repeat of the team’s highly successful 2010 season, Mizzou Racing has set its sights to compete in the SAE-Australasia event scheduled for Dec. 10-13 at Calder Park Raceway in Melbourne, Australia.
“It’s a sort of long-standing deal,” Rory Hourihan, a mechanical engineering senior who serves as Mizzou Racing’s president, said of the team’s goal. “If you prove yourself by finishing in the top-10, you should have a shot at going to an international competition.”
“There were a cluster of European competitions over the summer but it’s hard to get the car ready. We need time to get together and work on the car,” Hourihan added, explaining that the timing of the Australasia event is perfect.
There are approximately 20 active members on the team, and Mizzou Racing is working to raise the $25,000 necessary to take seven current team members and the team adviser to the Australian competition.
“Emotionally, this is one of the fondest memories I have,” said 2010 team president Jacob Brown of the team’s trip down-under that year. Brown, now working at General Motors, sometimes serves as a Formula SAE student competition judge on behalf of GM, one of the race sponsors.
“We were not only introduced to new cultures but different engineering and business sub-cultures. We had our eyes opened to how students and professionals from many other countries interacted and communicated,” Brown said.
But even before the car and team hit the track in Melbourne, there are many challenges to overcome that are unique to international competition, such as readying and shipping the car, getting it through customs in time, and rebuilding and testing it before the competition.
“It gives you a lot of pride and confidence as a young professional,” Brown said of the tangibles that come with the experience. “You begin to see your limitations fizzle away as you realize what you’re capable of.”
Recruiting for additional team members always begins at the Freshman Barbecue, this year held on August 27, and the team’s first open meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Ketcham Auditorium. Hourihan said he joined his freshman year.
“It looked cool. I had never done anything like it. It was my first engineering experience,” Hourihan said. Before being elected president, he most recently served as the head of aerodynamics and brakes and safety.
“The work that everyone puts in, we get back,” said Hourihan, and added that his Mizzou Racing experiences played a big role in landing his summer internship with Otscon, Inc., a local Columbia firm that manufactures parking brake systems and break pedals for the automotive industry.
The team began working to ready the car for competition weeks before classes started, and also are working overtime to raise the funds to travel to Australia.
“Sponsors are invited to the car unveiling, called ‘Drive Day,’” said Hourihan. “They get a logo on the car and some things like t-shirts and glasses.” More than 100 friends, family and sponsors attended Drive Day 2015.
If you are interested in helping the team meet its financial goal, you can email Alyssa Black, Mizzou Racing’s Chief Business Officer, at email@example.com, or visit Mizzou Racing’s MU “Give Direct” site.
“We definitely came back as stronger students, with a greater perspective,” said Brown of the 2010 Australasia competition. “We’re more resourceful and culturally savvy as a result. That’s what college is for, right?”