The University of Victoria Formula Motorsport team, seen here with their race, received an assist from Saanich Police have officers recovered several parts stolen last month. UVic shipped the items to the team competing at the Formula SAE event at Michigan International Speedway. (Black Press File).

UVic racing team drives past adversity

Team recovered to compete in major racing competition despite losing key parts to theft

A local racing team might have missed the checkered flag, but still lapped the odds by competing in a prestigious event that tested more than their engineering skills.

Preliminary results show the University of Victoria (UVic) Formula Motorsport Team finished 57th out of 120 teams competing in  Formula SAE event at Michigan International Speedway that ran from May 8 to May 11.

The Society of Automotive Engineers staged the race which serves as a competition for engineering students to develop and construct a single-seat race-car for the non-professional weekend autocross racer with the best overall package of design, construction, performance and cost.

RELATED: UVic racing team back on track after Saanich Police recovers stolen items

Stephanie Willerth, associate professor of mechanical engineering at UVic and the team’s supervisor, said the car ended up blowing a coolant line two laps before the finish of the final race, an outcome she called “very sad.”

But the team also scored its best ever results in one of the competition categories, and its presence alone marked no small victory. Days before departing for Michigan, students discovered that somebody had stolen vehicle parts. Worth about $3,000 dollars, the parts represented thousands of hours of work. In fact, it had taken team members years to design some of them.

RELATED: Theft of custom parts creates setback for UVic motorsport team

But the team did not give up. A last-minute appeal to alumni raised funds to get the team off the starting blocks, and Saanich police served as an extended pit crew by recovering the items on May 8, which allowed UVic to ship them to Michigan.

In other words, the team gained real-life lessons in resiliency and overcoming adversity, a fact not lost on Willerth.

“[The] fact the team was able to compete in the dynamic events is really amazing,” she said.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Cartoony’ mushrooms popping up across Vancouver Island are highly poisonous

Fly Agaric mushrooms can cause hallucinations, gastrointestinal pain and death

Marble humpback sculpture wins Oak Bay’s ArtsAlive 2019 People’s Choice Award

Daniel Cline’s Harmony Humpbacks will be recommended for purchase

Access: Technology lags for people with vision, hearing impairments

Accessibility barriers addressed at the Pacific Training Centre for the Blind

Saanich police arrest man who spat on, pulled knife on man who refused to give him a cigarette

Police recommend the 18-year-old be charged for assault with a weapon

Chilean teen brings protest to Victoria streets

Chile’s peaceful protest unseen, says visiting student

WATCH: Artist explains inspiration behind new Oak Bay mural

Oak Bay’s Parade of Play mural might be the biggest in Greater Victoria

POLL: Are you satisfied with the result of the federal election?

The ballots have now been counted and the dust has settled on… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Oct. 22, 2019

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Beers on the job, smacking crotches: 10 police misconduct probes in B.C.

Recent report by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner highlights a number of investigations

Seizure of cannabis edibles, including mac-and-cheese, prompt warning from B.C. RCMP

Potato chips, cheesecake and candy infused with cannabis also seized back in August

B.C. parents sue city and province in 12-year-old daughter’s drowning at lake

Beverly Park drowned at Rotary Lake in Dawson Creek in August 2016

Island mom warning others as suspicious powder found in mail

“I was very uneasy … it could be coffee whitener or it could be something else in the bag.”

VIDEO: Chill with polar bears through an Arctic live cam

Cam reopens just ahead of Polar Bear Week

Most Read