Tuesday, September 26, 2006
PDMC Motorsports participates in first professional race
|The PDMC Motorsports Ford Focus competed at the Mosports International Speedway and took 17th in it's first professional series race. |
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
The students involved in the Product Development and Manufacturing (PDMC) Motorsports organization at Oakland University got their first taste of professional racing at the 2006 Speed World Challenge race Sept. 1-3 in Mosport, Ontario, Canada. The Students First program’s Ford Focus placed 17th out of 27 cars. The team also received the B&M Shifter Holeshot Award, which is given to the car that advances the most positions at the start of the race. OU’s Focus went from 23rd to 14th before settle in 17th. While the car will compete in other races in the future, the Students First program also will use the car to educate OU students and those from elementary and high schools from the surrounding area.
“There are many reasons for getting this car and prepping it to run professionally,” said Patrick Dessert, director of PDMC Motorsports and associate professor of engineering. “First, we really want to help students apply the theory they have learned in classes, so they can build an incomparable resume, and help rebuild our auto industry. Second, it supports the position of PDMC Motorsports as the hands-on practicum for our forthcoming motorsports systems engineering bachelor’s degree.”
Teams, auto manufacturers and aftermarket supplies test their new products through the Speed World Challenge racing series. The challenge is listed as the Speed Channel’s number one rated event for viewers 18-34 years old, reaching more than 750,000 people on race weekends.
The team’s goal was to finish in the top 20 in an effort to prepare themselves and the car for next year’s racing circuit. The car was driven by Jeff Nowicki of Specter Werkes Sports, who will remain in the driver’s seat for the rest of the 2006 races. Students from PDMC Motorsports will use driver input and performance data to make adjustments to the car and improve performance in other races.
While the car will help students in OU’s classrooms, PDMC also hopes to help kids in elementary and high school classrooms. Along with the PDMC’s 1966 Hemi Charger used in the movie “Big Fish,” the Focus will be used in outreach programs inspiring kids to do well in school so they can get into a program to engineer race cars.
“We are very excited about the Student First Ford Focus. This vehicle has tremendous potential and is a very exciting educational opportunity for students,” said Matt Shipes, marketing director for PDMC Motorsports.
For more information on PDMC Motorsports, the Students First program or upcoming races, visit the PDMC Web site.