The shot heard 'round Toronto


UA mechanical engineering student Dustin Zacharyasz, in the cockpit, won first place with the fastest time in a flawless run.

The University of Akron's Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Racing Team, Zips Racing, zipped past the competition on Oct. 7, winning first-place trophies for having the fastest car and driver at the University of Toronto's Shootout autocross competition.

The U of T Shootout is the final event in the Formula SAE and Formula Student racing series, in which more than 500 universities worldwide design, manufacture and race open-wheel, open-cockpit, combustion vehicles in a series of contests. In this year's Shootout, 22 teams from North American universities took turns whizzing down the tortuous track at Mosport International Karting in Bowmanville, Ontario.

UA mechanical engineering student Dustin Zacharyasz scored the fastest time in a flawless run, hitting zero cones. Teammates Kevin Musial and Michinari Limbacher placed third and fourth, respectively.

Limbacher was confident of the team's "proven, reliable, and fast car," but says he knew UA would need a "little more edge" at the Shootout: "We tested an aero package (wings) throughout the summer and ultimately decided to take it to Toronto," he says. "This allowed us to navigate the course in the shortest amount of time."

The modifications paid off. The team won awards for having the fastest 4-cylinder formula car and fastest American car. Overall — when the smoke cleared, so to speak — the Zips Racing crew rode into the checkered sunset with two first-place trophies, six plaques, cash winnings and discounts for tires, leaving their opponents sputtering in the Canadian dust.

The team's faculty adviser is Richard Gross, associate professor emeritus of mechanical engineering.

 Story by Nick Nussen

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