Lehigh Valley

Engineering students prepare for international competion

Engineering students prepare for international competition

The Lafayette and Lehigh rivalry is going to the race track. The schools are competing in an international motor sports competition.

With time running out before the competition Wednesday, teams are still hammering, drilling, and making the final touches to their race cars.

"Everyone has been working on their cars for over a year and it's really something I'm looking forward, too," said Greg Dickinson, in charge of designing the frame for Lafayette College.

Lafayette College engineering students are part of team, Lafayette Motorsports. They're competing in the Society of Automotive Engineers formula competition in Michigan.

"We have to design our own race car and we bring it to the competition," said team co-leader, Matthew Cassera. "And it's judged against 120 different teams from around the world."

Engineering students will be judged on design and then in time trials.

All said they remember the first time starting the car.

"First turn of the key it went and that was a great experience," said Lafayette Motorsports team member, Timothy Shaw. "Because our adviser kept saying he's never got it to start on the first turn there is always a problem."

In 2010, Lafayette took 33rd place out of 120. So there is a little pressure on Lafayette Motorsports. Plus, the guys are competing against an in state rival.

"That's to be expected," added Andrew Wagle, from Lehigh Racing. "The rivalry is definitely there."

The team from Lehigh Racing said, come race day, they'll be ready to go.

"Don't want to speak too soon, knock on wood, hopefully it does well in competition," added Wagle. "But all sides are pointing to a good showing."

Now that the testing is done...

"You're just going off of hope and luck for nine months," said Cassera. "You don't know what is going to happen. When you click that button and the engine starts. The feeling that you get is amazing."

Both teams will head to Michigan Motor Speedway in the morning, and the competition starts May 14.

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