The University of Alabama’s Formula SAE team had the best performance in team history at competition this year.
UA’s team, called Crimson Racing, placed 10th overall out of 108 international teams from eight countries at the Formula SAE Michigan competition. The results placed UA fifth out of U.S. schools and first in the Southeastern Conference.
“Just five years ago, we placed 93rd in the same competition,” said Oakley Prell, sophomore mechanical engineering major and Crimson Racing business lead. “This is a drastic improvement that really shows how hard our team has worked.”
The annual competition took place in May at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Teams were judged in static events and dynamic events. The static events were based on research, presentation and reports while dynamic events were based on how the car preformed while racing. Crimson Racing placed seventh in design and business, ninth in endurance and 10th in autocross.
But, success did not necessarily come easy. The 18-member student team had to overcome a few small mechanical and electrical issues that needed to be addressed before competition.
“The team did an incredible job of working together to rapidly address these issues,” Prell said. “The team’s ability to adapt to the situation allowed us to stay on schedule and perform well in the events.”
Preparation for this competition began last summer. During the fall semester, the team finalized the design and manufactured the parts. In the spring, the car was assembled and tested.
The team has been ambitious in setting high goals for themselves the past few years, and the results are starting to reflect their hard work. Prell said the competition has given team members a lot of experience and opportunities.
“Placing in the top 10 is such an incredible feeling for our team because that has been our goal for the last couple of years,” Prell said. “I can’t describe how important it is to us because it shows the world how phenomenal the members of Crimson Racing are.”
Crimson Racing will compete June 19-22 in the Formula SAE Lincoln competition at Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, Nebraska.