Warrior Racing celebrates 15 years of competition

Since being established in 2003, Warrior Racing has become one of the most active and prominent student organizations within the Wayne State University College of Engineering. This year, Warrior Racing celebrated its 15th year of competition and achieved a record-high member rate, with a total of 59 members.

The team recently competed in the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Michigan and took 55th place out of 120 teams. The competition was held at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Michigan, and lasted four days.

“The road to FSAE Michigan 2019 started a year ago,” said Warrior Racing President Andrew Cucchiara. “Back in May 2018, Warrior Racing was headed to competition with a well-known and very reliable car, Road Warrior (RW) 11. ‘Rose,’ as it was known, was built with the intention of it being used in official competitions from June 2017 to May 2018, so that the new generation of Warrior Racing would have a solid car to learn with and fully understand what it takes to compete. Soon after FSAEM 2018, the team sat down to start making design decisions and relentlessly test RW11. We got to work on the design of RW12 in the late summer with the main goal of carrying forward many of the successful designs from RW11.”

Starting from scratch meant there was more room for mistakes, but it also meant more room for opportunity. Instead of playing it safe, the team decided to give aerodynamics a try by strategically adding wings to the front and back of the car, producing down-force and increasing speed.

“It pushes the car closer to the ground and will ideally lower the CG, making us go faster. There were a lot of calculations and 34-hour simulations running on the school virtual lab software,” said Noah Beattie, team exhaust captain. “So that was the big thing for this year, along with making the car lighter.”

When it comes to building an entirely new car, equipment can get expensive, but Warrior Racing is not without resources. In 2015, Warrior Racing Legacy was founded as a team sponsor, and consists solely of Warrior Racing alumni who wish to continue their support of the team. Not only do alumni provide financial help, but it’s also common for them to stop by the shop to lend design expertise or a hand in construction. While producing a racecar can be a grueling process, it’s clear the benefits outweigh the costs.

“I think it’s just about the friendship you gain with everyone around the car,” said Beattie. “Everyone rallied around one project, one goal.”

This month’s competition was RW12’s first official race, and while the team is happy with its performance overall, there is always room for improvement. A week after the competition ended, the team received word they had officially been moved off of the waitlist for Formula SAE Lincoln. Next month, Warrior Racing will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, to compete with RW12 once again.

“We are in the process of regrouping and preparing to attend Formula SAE Lincoln, with some more time on RW12, and perhaps a first for a Road Warrior,” said Cucchiara. “Stay tuned!”

To follow the team’s journey or learn more about Warrior Racing, visit their website or contact President Andrew Cucchiara at Andrew.cucchiara@wayne.edu.

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