SRT spends huge effort for little recognition

Rebecca Walters


Zack Maxwell dedicates most moments outside of class, homework and sleep to his team. He and his teammates are in their ‘gym’ for upwards of 30 hours a week. Their season is twelve months long, and it’s over after a single competition. In 2011 the team placed second in the nation, fourth in the world.

But if you were to ask journalism sophomore Matt Welsh if he’s ever heard of Maxwell’s team, he would say, “Nah, I haven’t. What kind of races do they do?”

The same goes for management information systems senior, Graeme Biggs, who replied, “Is that the same as the solar car people?”

And biology senior Natalie Bach, who said, “Um, no. Do they race, by chance?”

Over a dozen other students responded similarly when posed the same question.

Maxwell isn’t the captain of an elite sports team. He is one of three leaders of a group of students sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers who design, build and race a Formula SAE car every year.

“I think if you’re in the college of engineering, you’ve at least heard about the race team. They work so hard, and a lot of the time their efforts go without any kind of congratulations,” said Maxwell. “The workload to be on a team like this is very high. I would say that the core team works between 30 to 40 hours a week on the car.”

The result is a working car that goes on to competitions around the US. Last year’s car won 18th place out of 72, and Maxwell says he expects the team to do even better this year.

“We’re definitely one of the best in the nation. We have a lot of talent on the team,” said Maxwell. “This year I have confidence that the team is going to be in the top ten, at least.”

The Sooner Racing Team and over 70 other Formula SAE teams will gather to compete in Lincoln, Nebraska this June.

For more about the Sooner Racing Team, follow the team on twitter @OU_FSAE.

Sooner Racing Team leader, Zack Maxwell, takes a break during a weekend work session. The team meets every Saturday and 10 a.m. and works on the car all d