Design. Engineer. Fabricate. Test. Compete. Succeed. Repeat.
In 1985, several engineering students from the University of Missouri decided to utilize some time outside of the classroom to build a race car with the goal of competing in the annual Formula SAE events that had begun three years prior. They competed for the first time in 1987. Mizzou Racing saw their first top-ten finish in 1999, but the success didn’t stop there! Mizzou Racing earned two 2nd place finishes in years following, as well as placing top-ten in both national and international competitions in 2010. An incredible 14th place finish at FSAE Michigan in 2012 put Mizzou Racing at the forefront of Formula SAE. The still-growing team has been able to build upon the successes of years prior and develop consistently competitive cars.
The cars are in a class of their own, the Formula SAE class, best be described as a ¼ scale Formula-1 race car. The Formula SAE governing body places restrictions on the designs of the car to challenge the knowledge, ingenuity, and imagination of the students. Mizzou Racing rides the fine lines to reduce weight, increase power, and stand at the forefront of the competition. Dedicated team leaders create overall designs for each system of the car. From there, sub-teams create their own goals and deadlines. The car is then modeled in SolidWorks, a 3D CAD program, where fitment, weight reduction, stress analysis, and flow simulation are all meticulously studied to improve performance long before the first frame tube is cut. After design, fabrication begins. Some parts are sourced, some are bought, but over 85% of the car is fabricated by Mizzou Racing team members. Once the car is assembled, the extensive testing begins in the Hearnes Center parking lot and on the dynamometer.
Mizzou Racing engineering team members gain real-life experience in mechanical engineering, welding, machining, electrical engineering, and more. Leadership opportunities are available for members who become team leaders for one of the car’s many sub-systems. Mizzou Racing business team members will gain experience in public relations, writing press releases, social media administration, finance, sponsorship recruiting, and multiple other areas. Mizzou Racing produces some of the most well-rounded students on campus.
The goal of the Formula SAE competition is for student members to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with Formula-style vehicles in multiple static and dynamic events. Each car is a team effort, built over a period of approximately one year. Upon the car’s completion, the team travels to competition against hundreds of universities from around the world. Mizzou Racing has competed both nationally and internationally at multiple venues including Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Texas, Australia and many more. For more information on the Formula SAE program, visit http://students.sae.org/cds/formulaseries/. Click here for Formula SAE World Rankings.
Throughout the year, Mizzou Racing also participates in College of Engineering recruitment and promotional events. We give in-shop presentations to over 1,000 high school students and their families each year. We are also given the opportunity to promote MU and our sponsors by displaying our car at community events such as schools throughout the state, local Boy Scout meetings, State Farm, Mizzou Engineering Awareness Night, St. Louis Science Center, Goodyear Proving Grounds in Ohio, and Kansas Speedway.
Frequently asked questions:
Anyone interested in joining the team during the school year should stop by the shop between or after classes. Prime shop hours are 4-10pm, but there are usually team members in the shop at all hours of the day! If you found Mizzou Racing over the summer, follow our social media pages for information on our annual New Members’ Meeting.
The shop is located in Room 31 of Engineering Building West (in the basement!). On the University of Missouri’s campus, Engineering Building West is just off of the intersection of 5th Street and Stewart Rd.
We recognize that building a car is no small task. As a new member, your responsibilities will depend on the time you have to give to the team. New members who consistently come to the shop looking for projects will receive more work geared toward their primary area of interest on the car.
Not at all! We accept members of all ages, majors, and ability levels. The only requirement of being on the team is that you have a desire to learn and you come to the shop a few times a week to help work on projects. From there, the team leaders can assess your knowledge and help you get relevant experience. Mizzou Racing has opportunities on both the engineering and business areas of the team.
All members who dedicate time and energy to the team have the opportunity to drive the car. If you are down in the shop regularly and current team members know who you are, you can drive when we test!
In recent years, the team has attended two competitions per year. FSAE Michigan is in Brooklyn, Michigan and usually occurs during finals week in May. Team members arrange to take their finals at an alternate time. FSAE Lincoln is held in Lincoln, Nebraska and usually occurs during the third week of June.
In the Fall and Spring, we test locally and gauge driver ability. Before competition, we set up mock courses for team members to drive. The fastest drivers earn the right to drive the car at competition!