Tech’s Wreck Racing team took first place in the Grassroots Motorsports $2010 Challenge this year, which is hosted annually by Grassroots Motorsports Magazine (GRM) in Gainesville, FL. The competition took place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, and was attended by more than 50 teams from across the nation, including cars from professional tuning shops and racecar builders.
The competition required participants to buy, build and drive a fully functional racecar for a cost less than or equal to the corresponding dollar amount to the calendar year, which was a $2010 budget for this year. Cars that were entered into the competition competed in three different sections: concourse, autocross and drag.
In order to be eligible to participate in the competition, each team was required to raise its own funds or to acquire sponsorships that would afford it the necessary $2010. Wreck Racing was able to acquire sponsorships from major companies such as Pirelli, General Motors and Caterpillar, allowing them to participate in the competition. They also hold annual fundraisers, car clinics and promotional activities involving their machinery and vehicles to raise funds.
The first part of the competition was a concourse, which consisted of judging that was based on engineering quality, budget planning, build process and improvements over the past year’s entry. Next, the cars were entered in an Auto Cross competition, which tested the speed, acceleration and handling of the car over a long and windy track. Finally, the car was entered in a drag race, which tested the aerodynamics and top acceleration of the car.
Wreck Racing was awarded first place in the Auto Cross, first place in the Concourse and ninth place in the Drag Race competitions. At the end of the contest, Tech’s team was awarded first place as an average of their scores from all three competitions.
This year’s first place win was a first for Wreck racing, whose best placement in the Grassroots Motorsports competition up until this point was 12th place.
“We are a very new club, around five years old, and this was our biggest competition, and our biggest opportunity to prove ourselves as a valuable organization on campus,” said Andrea Kuklenyik, the Vice President of Wreck Racing and a second-year ME major.
Wreck Racing took home the gold with No. 81, a Lexus-V8-powered 1994 Mazda Miata. Next year, the group plans on returning with the same car in super-charged form. Plans for 2012 include a completely re-vamped platform, engine and chassis.
“Next year, we want to supercharge the Miata if we have time; it’s essentially going to be a competition against ourselves [next year] to see how much we can improve upon our car from this year,” Kuklenyik said.
After winning the competition, Wreck Racing will receive recognition in the April 2011 edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine.
Wreck Racing is a completely volunteer organization made up of over 35 students hailing from different departments across Tech’s campus.