UIC Motorsports exhibits drive, talent at Chicago Auto Show

UIC Motorsports; Chicago Auto Show

UIC Motorsports showcases its mini Baja vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show.

The UIC Motorsports team is showing off its off-road mini Baja vehicle and Formula race car this week at the Chicago Auto Show, next to the latest models by Lexus, Audi, Porsche and more.

Now in its fourth year at the auto show, the College of Engineering’s student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers was the first college group approved to showcase their work at the event. Their vehicles are on display through Sunday at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive.

Students may spend as many as 40 hours a week working to improve their designs for competitions, said team member Juan Guzman.

“Some [groups] on campus have applications, but we take everybody. We have some people that come to us not knowing how to use a screwdriver and others who know a lot,” said Guzman, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. “We help anybody interested so that by the time they graduate, they know about each part.”

The group’s Formula-style race car is sleek and low to the ground, allowing it to reach speeds as high as 84 miles per hour. The mini Baja’s frame is built to withstand a more turbulent terrain.

The mini Baja and Formula are only two of the team’s projects. Members travel to competitions around the country. Over the weekend, the group’s Baja team took first place in Michigan Technological University’s Blizzard Baja event, an annual competition that welcomes as many as 20 teams and 50 cars each year.

Students are serious about all aspects of the craft, said team president Justin Czok.

“We try to teach the business aspect of Motorsports as much as the mechanics,” he said.

To join UIC Motorsports, visit sae.uic.edu or email jczok2@uic.edu

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