Smithers Rapra Partners with University of Michigan Formula SAE Racing Team

Smithers Rapra announced a new sponsorship of the University of Michigan’s Formula SAE team.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Wong

In its search to find a competitive edge in racing performance, the University’s Formula SAE team, MRacing, is collaborating with Smithers Rapra to gather controlled lab data about tire performance and configure optimal construction specifications for the team’s 2015 formula style racecar.

"When the MRacing team approached us to gain a better understanding of the 2015 racecar’s tire performance, we suggested several test methods that could provide valuable data based on the car’s design,” said Jesse Roeck, Vice President and General Manager, Smithers Rapra North America. “Our tire testing team has broad racing experience and expertise, and was able to apply that knowledge in a way that helped the team address its challenges and improve performance.”

Smithers Rapra provided the team with Force and Moment tire testing services, which measure stresses and motions in tire footprints; tire forces and moments; lateral, longitudinal and vertical spring rates; and custom metrics, such as force development with distance rolled and bead or rim pressures. The results were used in vehicle models that balanced construction throughout the rest of the car, ensuring optimal performance under racing conditions. More details about Smithers’ testing capabilities can be found at www.smithersrapra.com/services/220-services-tire-performance-testing.

“We are proud to announce Smithers Rapra as the newest sponsor of the University of Michigan MRacing Formula SAE team,” said Peter Karkos, team member and University of Michigan student. “The Smithers team was able to provide us with state-of-the-art tire testing services and expertise to optimize tire performance during racing conditions. For engineering students, this tangible experience is invaluable to our development and to the team’s future performance, and we hope will ultimately lead to success on the track.”

Formula SAE is an annual engineering series where students organize, manage and fund a motorsport team that will design, build and race a new open-wheeled prototype racecar to compete with other universities around the world. MRacing Formula SAE at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is in its 28th year as a competitive team, placing eighth in the 2014 FSAE Michigan at the Michigan International Speedway in May and ninth in the 2014 FSAE Lincoln at Lincoln Airpark Speedway in June. The team is scheduled to compete in the 2014 FSAE Germany from July 29 through August 3. For more information about the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor MRacing team or the Formula SAE series, visit mracing.engin.umich.edu.