Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

IUPUI Motorsports Engineering Program Prepares to Expand

September 23, 2015

Indianapolis, Indiana (September 21, 2015) – IUPUI has unveiled plans to expand its Motorsports Engineering program with the addition of a fully race-prepared 1991 Mazda Miata.  This new car will replace the program’s historically successful 1968 MGB, which will be redirected to a new form of competition allowing for implementation of new technology.  As one of the most popular cars participating in grass roots motorsport, the Miata will provide a more modern platform for the development of race engineering related skill sets and is intended to compete at the highest level of Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) amateur racing.   The MGB will be transformed for a new form of competition as an SCCA Solo Modified race car. 

The Miata will be utilized as an experiential learning opportunity, giving students the chance to utilize their education both in the motorsports lab, where they will be tasked with analyzing and preparing the car, and also at the racetrack where they will be involved in wheel-to-wheel competition with some of the top amateur racers in the country.  Students will be able to directly apply material from classes such as motorsports design, data acquisition, vehicle dynamics, and motorsports aerodynamics in a highly competitive and professional environment.

The MGB has previously won SCCA events at a variety of tracks around the Midwest, and claimed an SCCA Great Lakes Division Championship on the way to being the first student-based team to earn an initiation to the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.  It is now entering a new phase of its career, competing in time trials, where it won its initial outing on September 20, 2015 in Cincinnati.   The car claimed a class win, boosting the enthusiasm of a 12 student team that accompanied the car to its re-debut.  Over the winter, students will begin transforming the car by installing a new drive-train and suspension before returning to competition in 2016.

Chris Finch, who helped facilitate the acquisition of the new Miata explains, “Our students conducted a thorough vehicle performance study of all the cars that compete in the SCCA F-Production class.  The Mazda Miata was the clear winner in giving us a platform to compete at the SCCA’s top level and instruct our students on the fundamentals of motorsports engineering.  Huge thanks to all our supporters who helped make this happen.”  IUPUI Motorsports Engineering Director Pete Hylton adds, “This affords us the unique opportunity of taking our older car, which although very successful, is in need of a major overhaul, and targeting it for some very creative design and development work that will prepare it, and our students for a different form of competition.”
Hylton summarized this new opportunity, saying, “This is a fantastic chance for our program and our students to move to the next level of competitiveness within one of America’s premier racing organizations.  We owe a huge thank you to our supporters who continue to make it possible for us to provide such one-of-a-kind experiential learning opportunities to our Motorsports Engineering students”
As the only university in the United States to formally sponsor an SCCA racing program, IUPUI’s commitment to providing the best education opportunities for students interested in the motorsports industry is evident in this latest procurement.  Giving students the opportunity to compete at a national level will improve their capability to acclimate to the rapid pace of the motorsports world upon graduation.

About IUPUI Motorsports
IUPUI is the first university in the United States to offer a bachelor's degree in Motorsports Engineering.  This 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Motorsports Engineering prepares graduates for careers in the motorsports industry, as well as automotive-related companies.  The focus is on teaching fundamentals of engineering and includes hands-on projects that involve designing, analyzing, and building of actual systems for competition vehicles. 

Chris Finch, Motorsports Engineering Faculty,, (317) 274-3676
Pete Hylton, Motorsports Engineering Program Director,, (317) 274-7192