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FOCUS ON: Hornet Racing Team

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Introduction: Each year, members of the Sacramento State Society of Automotive Engineers car club build a race car and test engineering principles learned in class on an actual track against other college SAE teams. The open-wheel, formula one-style car is built according to specifications and guidelines provided by the Society of Automobile Engineers. Students are required to design their vehicle and build the majority of it from the ground up.

Video: (Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.

(Background sound:) Metal being ground.

(Jim Finnerty reporting:) Exacting measurements are part of this unique engineering project at Sacramento State. But these students aren’t working for a grade. They’re building a race car as part of the Hornet Racing club.

(Michael Bell, junior, Sacramento State:) “There’s the suspension, there’s the engine, chassis, drive train, the brake system.”

(Finnerty:) Michael Bell and his fellow club members first design the car on computer then fabricate the parts.

(Bell:) “Design phase pretty much never stops. That’s an ongoing process because there are some things that are going to be adjusted along the way.”

(Background sound:) Engine revs up.

(Bell:) “This whole club is based around a learning experience. If you don’t know anything about anything, we’re more than happy to show you—more than happy to teach you.”

(Akihiko Kumagai, professor, Sacramento State:) “You can’t believe how much hard work they have to go through.”

(Finnerty:) Professor Akihiko Kumagai oversees the club activities leading up to a national event in which the Hornet Racing car competes against dozens of other collegiate cars.

(Kumagai:) “They go through many practical things which they’ll go through in their future professional engineering life.”

(Bell:) “After all the car is built together, then you’ve got the tuning process. And then we race—and hopefully we don’t break down. People who are passionate about being part of the club are more valuable than people who know what they’re doing, but don’t want to give their time. If you’re willing to learn, you’ll learn and you’ll get better at it.”

(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty Reporting.

(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.

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