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VIDEO: Northwestern Formula Racing Revs Up for Competition

Northwestern Formula Racing is a McCormick-sponsored student group that gives undergraduates the opportunity to design, manufacture, and compete with an open-wheel car over the course of a year.

The group began with five students in 2006 and has since expanded to more than 30 members who design and build every aspect of the car. The team spends the school year designing and manufacturing a fully-functional vehicle before putting it to the test each May on a road trip to Michigan.

At the Michigan International Speedway, an annual competition held by the Society of Automotive Engineers, students pit their design against more than 100 schools from around the country. Through a series of evaluations, teams earn points for tactfully explaining every aspect of their design, from the car’s parts to its cost-effectiveness. Then, after clearing safety checks, the students drive their car on the speedway to showcase its performance in handling, breaking, and acceleration.

In the team's first year at competition in 2008, they placed second out of rookie teams in what the judges called a “remarkable first-year effort.”  After another strong showing in 2011, the team is optimistic about their chances at competition this year. “Our design philosophy is simple and reliable,” says Joshua Jund, a senior in industrial engineering. “If we can do that, and if we complete every event, we have a pretty strong chance of being in the top 30.”  

Watch the video to learn more about the fast-paced world of Northwestern Formula Racing.