Formula racing team revving up for Europe


Zips Racing, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Team at The University of Akron (UA), will conclude its already illustrious season – marked by two top-10 finishes – with back-to-back competitions in Europe. 

The team will close out its first competition Wednesday, Aug. 1, at Formula Student Austria in Spielberg, Austria, with ZR18, its formula-style racing car. Team members will then take the track at Formula Student Germany from Aug. 6-12 in Hockenheim, Germany, where they hope to improve upon last year’s eighth-place finish.

“It’s not a pleasure trip; we take this very seriously,” says team captain Ezra Malernee, a senior mechanical engineering technology major. “I think everybody on the team is extremely competitive. And, it’s an eye-opening experience. It really teaches you a lot. … It’s fun to go in as an American team, kind of the underdog. We’re pretty ready.” 

VIDEO: “Zips Racing in action

The only U.S. team to compete in both European competitions this year (after having passed rigorous qualifications), Zips Racing looks to continue its momentum after having placed sixth out of 114 teams – outranking all U.S. teams – at Formula SAE Michigan in Brooklyn, Mich., this past May, and ninth at Formula North 2018 in Ontario, Canada, in June. UA’s team was the only one from Ohio to finish in the top 10 in either competition.

Zips Racing is one of several successful student design teams in the College of Engineering at UA, which is the only university in the U.S. to have Formula, Baja, Human-Powered Vehicle, Concrete Canoe and Robotics teams all place in the top 10 in at least one of their respective competitions in the 2017-18 season.

“It is an incredible testament to UA’s College of Engineering that we are the only American engineering college that has this many top 10 finishes in this many competitions,” says Daniel Deckler, student design teams advisor and a professor of engineering. “And this happens year after year; this year isn’t just a fluke.”


Media contact: Alex Knisely, 330-972-6477 or .