Formula Racing Team Finishes 11th at California Speedway

Formula Racing Team Finishes 11th at California Speedway
Mechanical Engineering major Nicolas Hadad drives the Cal Poly Pomona formula car used in last year's competition.
Students will compete at California Speedway June 13-16.

Cal Poly Pomona's Formula Racing Team once again put the pedal to the metal June 13 – 16 at the Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) West competition at California Speedway.

The team came in 11th place out of 80 student teams at the raceway in Fontana.

“This is a great design competition and will be an excellent showcase of student engineering professionalism,” said Clifford Stover, faculty advisor for Cal Poly Pomona's Formula and Baja teams. “This project, as well as our off-road SAE Baja project, is possible due to the Mechanical Engineering department's commitment to producing top-rate academic and practical hands-on engineers.”

The demands for SAE Formula contests are rigorous and time consuming. Student teams must design, fabricate, and compete with small formula-style racecars. There are tight restrictions for car frames and engines, so students must be resourceful, creative and imaginative in order to vie for the top prizes. The design and fabrication process takes nearly a year.

This year, the Cal Poly Pomona team, which has about 20 active members, raised an unprecedented $60,000 in cash donations and $40,000 in material donations to finance the project, according to Jeremy Smith, a mechanical engineering student who is president of the Cal Poly Pomona SAE chapter and the team treasurer.

In previous years, the team raised between $20,000 and $50,000.

“This competition is important educationally,” Smith said. “Besides learning by doing and getting hands-on experience, we are also learning what we are good at professionally.”

For more than 20 years, the team has revved its homemade engines earning the attention of industry scouts and leading the cumulative Formula SAE rankings in California.

Broncos received tenth and ninth place honors in 1995 and 1996, respectively, as well as the Spirit ofExcellence Trophy. In 1998, the team placed a respectable top 25 finish. Cal Poly Pomona rebounded strongly in 2000 with a third place finish. In July 2000, the team became the first California school to participate in the Formula Student competition in England and took home the first place trophy.

The Formula SAE teams competed throughout the California Speedway, using the infield road course and paddock area, as well as the NASCAR garages. The suites above the hot pits were used as a conference center for teams to make their sales and design presentations.

Professional engineers and racers scored the entries at the competition. Points are awarded in categories such as engineering design, cost analysis, oral marketing presentation and high-performance dynamic track events including acceleration, skid pad, autocross and endurance.

For more details about the event, please visit,