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Oklahoma State University

OSU Formula race team eyes new world record

Fri, September 14, 2012


Starting from scratch...


Racing in the dark...The Oklahoma State University student racing team plans to set a new world record again this year with its natural gas race car in a 24-hour period at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit starting Sunday, Sept. 16. The public is invited out to the track to watch from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, with an overview of the racing program set for 2 p.m.   

"Our goal is clear, we are hoping to almost double the 590 miles we traveled last year at the track by covering 1,000 miles to set the new world record for a collegiate Formula SAE compressed natural gas fueled race car," said Jim Beckstrom, adviser to OKstate Racing, a student-run Formula SAE race team at OSU. "I think we learned a lot last year that we'll be able to apply to reach this year's goal," he added.
Just last year, the team's Formula SAE race car became the first of its type ever converted to run on natural gas to go 24-hours and prove that CNG  is a practical and high performance transportation fuel. The team hopes that CNG will eventually become accepted as a fuel in international Formula SAE competition.
Last year, many of the drivers were guest racers, but that will be the rare exception this time around because, as Beckstrom puts it, “We need to focus on smashing the world record at Hallett.” Nevertheless, the team is reserving the eight-hour period on Sunday for the public to watch the record-breaking attempt. Because the entrance into the facility requires crossing the race track and visitors enter a “live racing event,” they will be required to sign a waiver to enter, and wait until the car is in the pits to both enter and leave the facility, explained Beckstrom. Hallett’s Finish Line Café will be open so guests can get something to eat. If all goes as planned, the team should finish on Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Open to all majors, OKstate Racing is a student club that builds a Formula race car from the ground up each year and takes it to international competition. The club’s CNG program is the only one of its kind in the world, and is an extension of its already rigorous competitive program. It is a Society of Automotive Engineers organization sponsored by the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at OSU.
Hallett Motor Race Circuit is between Stillwater and Tulsa, just south of Highway 412 (the Cimarron Turnpike). Take exit #48 south from Highway 412 and follow the signs to the track, which is a 1.8 mile, 10-turn (including five hairpin turns) road racing course.