Owls Racing Has Best Finish in History at 2017 FSAE Michigan

Owls Racing at FSAE Michigan 2017

By kelsie weekes | 5/19/2017

Owls Racing, Florida Atlantic University’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) team, finished 21st overall out of 110 teams at the Formula SAE Michigan, the largest and longest running collegiate SAE competition at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Not only was it the team’s best-ever finish at the event, but they also placed higher than all other Florida teams.

FAU competed with their brand new OR-17 racecar, which is classified as a “non-aero” design. The majority of the top 20 cars had an “aero” design, which provides better control and handling, but is more expensive to construct.

The competition began with design, cost and business presentations on each team’s vehicle, followed by four dynamic events, including acceleration, skid pad, autocross and endurance. The team’s best finish was 12th place in endurance, where the team was evaluated on speed, handling, driving talent and durability of the car.

FAU’s top-25 overall finish put them ahead of teams such as Clemson University, Michigan Tech, Duke University, Virginia Tech, Brown University and University of Florida.

“I can attribute our success to the thousands of hours of dedicated work and devotion put in by this great group of engineers,” said Marco Cheraso, FAU student and president of Owls Racing. “We couldn’t have done this without the support of FAU and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.”

The 24-member team from Owls Racing who attended the competition include Cheraso, along with Jeff Basiliere, Patrick Brandon, Jeron Bornstein, Chris Branfield, Mathew Burgos, Nathaniel Cadet, Seth Chapman, Alex Conrad, Max Evans, Steve Gaillot, Miroslav Homuta, Trent Ksionek, Obrien Lavin, Blake Lewend, Austin Licata, Stephen Lyons, Joshua Mesnick, Frederick Meyer, Daniel Morishita-Horner, Romulo Peraza, Sil Schoonman, Michael Simpson and Thomas Strickland. The team also was aided by team advisors Fred Knapp, FAU senior lab teaching instructor, Oren Masory, Ph.D., team faculty advisor and professor in FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, and Keith Wilson, industry advisory member and one of the many team sponsors.

“We congratulate the multidisciplinary team of engineering, business and marketing students that contributed to this major effort,” said Javad Hashemi, Ph.D., chair of FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering. “This is a major accomplishment for a ‘non-aero’ design to appear in the top 21. Over the next three years, the team plans to shift to the ‘aero’ design with the goal of placing in the top 10.”

For more information about Owls Racing, visit owlsracing.com.