FLINT (WJRT) - (06/20/17) - Kettering University's Formula SAE team is revving up for its biggest open-wheeled race of the season. Nationals are this week in Lincoln, Nebraska.
"We're going to be competing with 120 different schools and hopefully we bring back some hardware," said Kettering student John Lloyd.
"The whole team has been working for a year to design and build this car. I'm excited to take it out there and try to get the most out of it," said Curt Bagne, one of the team's student drivers.
Before leaving Flint Tuesday morning, the team took in one last campus test drive at the new GM Mobility Research Center, formerly Chevy in the Hole.
"The car feels pretty good. There are a couple things to address before competition, but that's what testing time is for," Bagne said.
In the past, students practiced on the uneven surface of Atwood Stadium's parking lot, which didn't always provide reliable data for engineering. This new proving ground has helped take Kettering's program to an elite level.
"When you take in the legacy of being Chevy in the Hole, how much fun is that? You really get to bring it forward today in a proactive manner," said Kip Darcy, Kettering's vice president of marketing.
While in Nebraska, the team plans to act as university ambassadors and even help recruit new students.
"We want to represent our sponsors, make them proud, and we want to represent Kettering and show what Kettering's all about," Lloyd said.
At the same time, Kettering's SAE team is focused on racing and knows it'll be facing some stiff competition on the track.
"Auburn finished first last year, U of M is also a strong competitor. It would be awesome if we could be them. San Jose State is also a strong team," Bagne said.