After many long months of hard work from the dedicated Longhorn Racing team, May 6th finally marked our unveiling banquet. Friends and family of the team along with corporate supporters and Longhorn Racing alumni gathered in the San Jacinto residence hall multipurpose room at 6:00pm to celebrate the completion of our car, all of them eager to get a glimpse at what lay beneath the sheet covering the vehicle on the stage.
The master of ceremonies was SAE president Oscar Lopez, who started with some opening words, began to introduce the team, the car and reflected on the growth both UT SAE and Longhorn Racing have gone through over the last few years. He then passed the torch over to Dr. Matthews, the founder of both Longhorn Racing and the Formula SAE. Dr. Matthews detailed the history of Formula SAE, what inspired him to found what is now the world's largest intercollegiate design competition, and the educational value that Formula SAE adds to the students’ education.
Next to take the stage was Alex Booth, our 2015-2016 season team captain. He delved into the progress we had made in designs of the car over the last few seasons and unveiled our 2016 Longhorn Racing competition vehicle. Vincent Marsella, this year’s chief design engineer, then took the stage to a little more specifically about the design goals this year and what we have achieved so far.
At this point, the audience was encouraged to come get a closer look at the car. They could take pictures, peek inside the cockpit, and field any questions they may have had to members of the team. After that, each lead took to the stage one at a time to delve deeper into their portion of the car and explain their design, specifications, and any changes made from the previous year's designs.
After the design leads, Alto Ono, this year’s team manager made the official announcement for the formation of Longhorn Racing’s sister team, Longhorn Racing Electric. Patrick McCabe, the current team captain of Longhorn Racing electric took the stage to talk a little more about their team, their design goals, and their vision for the upcoming car that will be competing at Lincoln in 2017. Last but certainly not least, UT SAE’s Vice President, Matthew Richardson, made some more exciting announcements about an upcoming autocross event that will be held in Austin over the Labor Day weekend (mark your calendars!) and their new campaign on Hornraiser (a UT Austin crowd funding platform) to raise funds for a renovation of the Longhorn Racing trailer as there will be two teams competing in 2017.
The banquet was a massive success thanks to the hard work from the team and university staff, and to the support brought in from friends, family, corporate supporters, and alumni. Now, Longhorn Racing is turning their attention to the next big milestone: competition.