Formula Race Team Takes Fifth Place Among 120 Teams at Michigan Event

Top ten placements in autocross, acceleration and endurance categories

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Timothy Monahan

Brian Reinheimer, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, takes the green flag for the acceleration event at the recent SAE Formula competition at Michigan International Speedway. Reinheimer led the RIT team to a ninth place finish among 100-plus teams in the individual event.

The Formula Race Team at Rochester Institute of Technology got off to a fast start at its first competition May 13–15, taking fifth place overall at the Formula SAE Michigan event at Michigan International Speedway. The team opened the 2010 season at one of the largest national competitions among the 120 collegiate design teams from around the world.

The RIT team placed third in the presentation event, sixth in endurance, skid pad and cost categories. They had a seventh place finish in the autocross event. The team placed ninth in the acceleration category, up from fifteenth place at last year’s event.

“It was a good four days of competition in Michigan and we came away with an overall finish of fifth place,” says Matt Smith, team project manager. “By the time dynamic events started on Friday it was warm and sunny, providing great track conditions for our car.”

Concerns that traveling costs might impact the number of teams competing were unfounded, Smith explained, with many European and Asian teams making the trip to Michigan for the opener. Teams from the United States, Canada, Turkey, India, Greece, Germany, Japan, Australia and Brazil were represented.

The RIT Formula SAE Racing Team defends its overall championship June 16-19 in California at the Auto Club Speedway. It will close the 2010 season Aug. 4-8 at the SAE Formula Student Germany.