Lakehead University FSAE Team


team at competition

2008-2009 Team

Competition Info:

Formula SAE Michigan

Car #98

Ranking: 43

Team Members:

Sultan Siddiqui
Kailash Bhatia
Brandon Porter
Pierce Jones
Tristan Entem
Tara’s Andrusiv
Gabe Nicholescu
Chase Whitelaw
Matt Tamas
Gianmarc Coppola
Shane Luntunen
John Williams
Ryan Clark
Shawn Plante
Andrew Maltby
Trevor Farrow
Evis Buli
John Rode
Victor Kiss
Ofelia Jianu

Car Photo

car being filled with gas at the competition

Shop Photo

Team Story

As we questioned whether or not it was even realistic for us to build LU’s first ever race car and compete in the same year, we made it our mission.

We had a Honda CBR600 engine, a shop and a bunch of college technology grads with a vision: building a car and competing internationally.

We held a weekly meetings and learned lessons from online We learned about fundraising and just building a reliable race car.

The race car had a solid rear axle because we couldn’t afford a diff. Our suspension and brakes were made from scrapyard snowmobile and ATV parts. The brakes came out of Toyota trucks, and Pierce welded up some rugged aluminum pedals that were pretty hack.

The engine ran very well because it was correctly tuned on a dyno with the custom intake and exhaust. Taras made a “double barrel” throttle body. A machine shop in town machined us an awesome intake that Gabe designed. We had a sticky throttle cable issue resolved using some cable pulley widget called a wheelamajigger. The shifter was whipped up in one day.

The car was about 600 lbs. Making it lightweight was just not a requirement for us. Matt painted the frame and the entire shop.

We learned how to sweep a parking lot. All drivers practiced driving safely in the parking lot – everyone stayed within the confines of the parking lot and didn’t hit any tires. We made it to the competition which was an 18 hour drive or something. Gabe drove a loud Corsica with an exhaust leak.

We used a fire blanket as a firewall forcing the fire resistant firewall rule to include the word “rigid.” Pierce dragged a cone for 3 laps through the endurance race.

We finished all events, placed well and won the Rookie of the Year award. It was the beginning of something important.

news article

Lessons Learned

  • Just building something that works is the best place to start.
  • A car can be built for cheap, but some things really should be bought new.
  • Fundraising events are fun, but the real money is raised by cold calling people.
  • Having a frame built by January is important.
  • Having your engine tuned months before the competition is important.
  • If someone builds a bad system, just swap it out for something else.
  • Last people to arrive at the AirBnB sleep on the floor.