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RIT Formula racecar ‘roars to life’ this Saturday at Imagine RIT festival Events, Podcasts

RIT’s Formula SAE racing team unveils its 2007-2008 racecar this Saturday during the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival. Nearly a year in the making—from design to fabrication—the racer will be introduced at around 11:30 a.m. in Simone Circle in front of the Student Alumni Union.

As some readers know, I covered RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering—and the Formula car rollout—for about eight years for University News. Each spring, a large and enthusiastic crowd of students, faculty, staff, alumni (including former team members), parents, siblings, team sponsors and other friends were on hand, typically on a Friday afternoon, for the exciting event—which happens in dramatic fashion. If you’re picturing an “unveiling”—literally—of a sheet-covered racecar, think again. Instead, spectators will first hear the distant sounds of the racer as it roars to life and is driven from the Formula team shop, in the James E. Gleason Building, to Simone Circle. Building the suspense (whether intentional or not, I don’t know), the car typically arrives “fashionably late.” But once it’s there, you’ll smell the burning rubber as the driver completes a few celebratory laps around the circle before parking to give visitors a close-up look at the sleek racing machine.


Moving the unveiling to a Saturday to coincide with this year’s Imagine RIT festival is sure to result in an even larger gathering. Without giving away too much, I’ll tell you that spectators can expect to see tiger stripes on this year’s model. Lawrence Litchfield, RIT Formula team project manager, recently revealed the “tigerization” of the racecar on the RIT news podcast Studio 86. Hear what Lawrence and some of his teammates have to say about preparation for this year’s national and international competitions in the fourth in a yearlong series of Studio 86 podcast interviews with team members. (For those who missed earlier episodes, they’re still available on the RIT news podcasts page and via RSS feed or Apple iTunes.)

Also, while you’re at this weekend’s festival, don’t forget to stop by the University News/R News exhibit spotlighting “21st Century News.” My buddy and colleague Vienna Carvalho and I will be hosting the booth in the “Wow Center” (the Gordon Field House and Activities Center).

Hope to see you on Saturday at the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival! Have a great weekend!


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