Lawrence Technological University turned in the fastest lap time at the ninth annual LTU Grand Prix, held Saturday at the university’s Southfield campus.
Eight teams competed in scaled-down Indy cars on a course laid out on a parking lot adjacent to LTU’s Science Building.
Weather conditions – rain that ranged from a drizzle to a downpour but which never stopped – forced the teams to use treaded rain tires instead of racing slicks. LTU’s No. 41 car adapted best to the challenging conditions, turning in the fastest lap time of 34.56 seconds. Wayne State University posted the second fastest time, 35 seconds flat, while the University of Toledo finished third at 36.41 seconds.
Also participating in the event were Hope College, Oakland University, Kettering University, the University of Windsor, and Western Michigan University.
Also running on the course were the LTU Formula Hybrid and Baja teams.
Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers). The competition started in 1978 and was originally called SAE Mini Indy. In Formula SAE, student teams design and build a roughly half-scale Formula-style race car. In competitions each spring, the cars are judged on design, cost, manufacturability, acceleration, handling, fuel economy and endurance.
Formula SAE has since launched spinoffs into other types of vehicles – Baja SAE for off-road vehicles, Formula Hybrid for hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles, Aero Design for large model airplanes, and Supermileage for ultra-high- mileage cars.