Top-Ranked UTA Racing Team Revved Up For Weekend Competition

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    Revved up and ready to go – UT-Arlington’s top-ranked racing team is gearing up for a big competition this weekend. (Published Friday, July 11, 2014)

    Revved up and ready to go!

    UT-Arlington’s top-ranked racing team is gearing up for a big competition this weekend.

    Somewhere between classes, homework and the daily grind of college life, one group of students at UTA have found the time to design and build some mean machines.

    They’re part of the UTA Racing Team, which spends the entire school year creating a working formula car from scratch.

    “The journey, for basically ten months out of the year, is a grueling one,” said Naima Rivas, a member of the UTA Racing Team.

    But now that school is out and this year’s model is complete, the real fun can begin.

    “It feels like I’m piloting the space shuttle,” said Rivas. “It feels absolutely amazing [behind the wheel].”

    The team travels with the car to competitions, where they go head to head with other universities from all over the United States and the world.

    The cars race one at a time through a course that tests their speed and maneuverability through a series of obstacles.

    If the UTA Racing Team’s collection of trophies is any indication, it appears they’ve mastered that.

    “We’re the number one team in the nation right now and we’re number five in the world,” said Rivas.

    One key to their success – they’ve equipped the cars with small computers they built and programmed, which help to optimize the settings they feel give them the best ride.

    “It’s a growing trend,” said Randy Long, a member of the UTA Racing Team. “Things are becoming more computerized because things get smaller, things get more efficient, and a computer is easier to tune.”

    Now they’re tuning up for the “Texas Autocross Weekend” – a competition on their home turf. They’re optimistic their hard work will help them come out on top again.

    “We have a strong legacy of innovation, and of professionalism, and of doing well with these competitions,” said Rivas. “So. it’s a really special thing to be a part of.”

    About a dozen teams from the U.S. and Canada will participate in the competition.

    It kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Saturday in parking lot 49 on the UTA campus. The public is invited to attend.