Illini Motorsports team wins Michigan competition


Illini Motorsports team at Michigan event
Illini Motorsports team at Michigan event. Photo courtesy of Illini Motorsports.

The Illini Motorsports team was the top performer across several categories at the May 2022 Formula SAE Michigan competition, held at Michigan International Speedway.

Facing competition from 89 other universities, Illini Motorsports was named the top overall performer, finishing first in the Design category and the Endurance category and second in the Cost event. The team also won the Multimatic Vehicle Dynamic Excellence Award, achieving a sponsorship of $8,000 worth of Multimatic dampers,  the opportunity to work with Multimatic engineers to develop the car's suspension design, and an invitation to travel to Multimatic's Toronto facility to build and test their dampers and the car's suspension.

“It was apparent from talking to other teams that our success was aided by a high level of program continuity through the Covid-19 pandemic,” said team captain Lucas Day, a graduating senior in MechSE. “UIUC's Covid testing system last year enabled nearly normal access to ESPL, and this was a large factor in our ability to maintain and even grow our team in the last three years.” 

He noted that the Illinois team now boasts an excellent reputation among other teams and industry sponsors. The morning after Design Presentation Finals, the team was visited by recruiters from nearly every event sponsor, including Tesla, SpaceX, Ford, Rivian, Multimatic, Relativity, Honda, Bosch, GM, EControls, FEV, Siemens, Blue Origin, and Nissan.

“Being a part of Illini Motorsports for the past four years has been my defining college experience and is the reason I will be joining ABL Space Systems—a rocket company startup—as a structures engineer, and I will always advocate for UIUC to increase support for our and other design teams,” Day said. “There is no better applied engineering experience you can get as an engineering student!”