After several weeks of hard work and perseverance, Longhorn Racing was able to completely refurbish their 2015 car and drop it off to be displayed at Dell World on Saturday. The Longhorn Racing Formula SAE car display is a showcase of Dell’s new IOT technology now being implemented in Formula 1 and NASCAR. Our team was given an opportunity to implement the same system into the Formula SAE car. Additionally, this event reflects the relationship between The University of Texas at Austin and Dell. Dell understands that Formula SAE is one of the most effective ways for a students to gain hands-on experience with engineering and get a better understanding of state-of-the-art technology and has partnered with us for the 2015-2016 season. We are delighted to be a part of Dell World and excited about building the partnership between our corporate partners and our team. Anyone interested in learning more or in seeing the car can stop by the Dell Parmer 3 Café!
This weekend was also the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix hosted at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, and it was one for the history books. Hurricane Patricia wreaked havoc throughout Texas, and Austin was no exception; a Friday morning shower turned into a downpour that canceled free practice 2. The rain continued on through the night, and COTA shut their gates until noon in the interest of spectator safety. That didn't stop fans from flocking to the track when the gates finally opened, many of whom took shelter in the covered Main Grandstand in hopes that qualifying would take place. As a series of half hour delays pushed the start of qualifying back until it was ultimately canceled, several teams and drivers did their best to entertain fans. With qualifying canceled, the pit lane was opened up as consolation, and patient fans were able to meet their favorite drivers and were even allowed to get pictures with many of the cars.
Qualifying then took place on Saturday morning, with rain canceling Q3 leaving Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg to start from pole position and his teammate Lewis Hamilton to start from second. And even with the rain finally ceasing by the time the lights went out, the race proved to be one of the most exciting of the season. A first corner collision that left several cars spinning out of control was only the beginning of an action-packed filled race that saw just 12 of the 20 cars make it to the finish.
However, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was unstoppable. After proving himself as a consistent and talented driver, Hamilton was ultimately able to secure a victory that drove home his third World Driver's Championship. Rosberg finished behind him in second place, and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the podium in third place.
Not only was it a successful weekend for Formula 1, but it was for Longhorn Racing. Many of our passionate team members braved the weather to experience the weekend both as fans and as track marshals. But, most notably, Longhorn Racing was brought to a wider audience; anyone who left the track with an official race program will flip past a full page advertisement for the team! Everyone in Longhorn Racing is very excited about the fact that our car and team is featured in the same pages as the most elite drivers and engineers in the world, and we hope that one day what starts here, changes the world.