A new era of formula car racing at Mizzou

July 14, 2023

Upper left: mizzou electric racing team with car
Upper right: Mizzou Racing with car
Bottom left: Mizzou Electric Racing car
Bottom right: Mizzou Racing car
Mizzou Electric Racing pictured left, Mizzou Racing pictured right

Tigers in fast cars competed this spring in the Formula SAE (FSAE) competition at Michigan International Speedway, bringing home awards and beginning a new era of racing at Mizzou.

Mizzou Racing, which builds a quarter-scale formula car, competed in May and Mizzou Electric Racing, which builds a quarter-scale electric formula car, competed in June. The two teams work together and share a build room in Lafferre Hall.

“Student organizations like Mizzou Racing are what make college fun,” said Gillian Dorman, Team Manager of Mizzou Racing. “Classes are tough and having an outlet like this team is how to become a successful student.”

The teams spend all year preparing for competition, which includes static events such as design and cost presentations and numerous technical inspections in addition to driving events. Mizzou Racing’s car, #18, placed 17 out of 120 teams. They also earned second place in the Skidpad event. Mizzou Electric Racing passed all except the brakes safety test, and were unable to compete in the driving events.

“The 2023 season went quite well for Mizzou Racing,” said Dorman, a senior in psychology. “The best part of the season was the growth the team saw. Our graduating seniors were the foundation of the team for the past four years, it was really awesome to see them pass on their legacy to the next generation of Mizzou Racers. It was also very bittersweet to see graduated senior Spencer Goldstein earn a trophy in his driving event, the first team trophy in recent years.”

Brooke Becker, Vice President for Mizzou Electric Racing and a senior in mechanical engineering, said she was very proud of the team.

Electric Racing Car
Mizzou Electric Racing took over the Mizzou Engineering Instagram Stories while they were at competition.

“While we didn’t make it through brakes, this was an amazing accomplishment for any first-year team,” she said. “We can’t wait to improve our race car and return next year to make it all the way through.”

Prior to this year, Mizzou Electric Racing was known as Mizzou Eco-Racing, which built solar and hydrogen-powered cars. The June FSAE competition was the first competition for Mizzou Electric Racing.

“Competing with the electric car was an amazing experience that we couldn’t have done without the help of Mizzou Racing,” Becker said. “My favorite moment from the week was seeing the racecar drive for the first time at competition. We had a few setbacks leading up competition, but seeing the car drive was such an amazing thing to witness. Everybody was jumping up and down and celebrating. It made me so happy to see everyone else so excited.”

Both teams are looking forward to the fall semester with big plans for the 2024 competition season.

“For Mizzou Electric Racing, our next steps are to build our team this year and to rebuild our car for the 2024 competition,” Becker said. “We plan to go to various autocross events in the fall to get some more driver practice and fine-tune the car.”

Mizzou Racing is taking a different approach.

“Car #18 will be kept alive rather than torn down for parts like in past years,” Dorman said. “We are beyond excited for this new endeavor and cannot wait to meet all our new members that will join this fall. We will also be doing driving training this year. Car #18 will attend events at Kansas State University and University of Texas – Arlington this fall.”

For Dorman and Becker, being a part of the racing teams has been an integral part of their college experience. Becker’s favorite parts are seeing the continuous progress made on the car and working with the team on their shared goal. Dorman says her favorite part is simple: building racecars with her best friends.

“College can be scary at first,” Dorman said. “Coming from out-of-state I didn’t know many people on campus, the team has created a home-away-from-home, in a way. I can’t imagine not spending time in the shop.”

Both teams are actively looking for new students to join the teams, both from and outside the College of Engineering.

“We are always looking for new dedicated members,” Becker said. “If you aren’t an engineer but love cars or are interested in learning, our team welcomes you! It is an amazing way to get experience, learn, and apply the things you learn from your classes. Being a member of this team will leave you with an edge over others due to the design, manufacturing, teamwork, logistics, and leadership skills that go into manufacturing a car.”

Students can meet with members of Mizzou Racing and Mizzou Electric Racing at the New Student BBQ at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 24, at Shamrock Plaza, located just North of the Columns.

Earn an engineering degree while building a quarter-scale formula car. Choose Mizzou Engineering!