By Adam J. Sederholt
SEM Vice President
The Ward College Chapter of the Society of Experimental Mechanics has just received approval to start the first student based SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) race team. At this time we are committed to entering the American Sedan Class, which is what the old Trans Am series was in the late 60's and early 70ís. The American Sedans, comprised of Chevrolet Camaros, Pontiac Firebirds, Ford Mustangs, and Mercury Capris are production-based chassis with modified suspensions and brakes, and 5.0 Liter V-8 powerplants. The series does not allow for many aftermarket modifications, thus making competition closely matched and highly competitive. After an absence of 15 years, 1995 marked the return of the American Sedan Class to Club Racing and we hope to make our debut in the Spring of 2003.
Our chapter of SEM, the first in Connecticut, was chartered in 1997 and currently has over 30 active members, many of whom are committed to create and maintain this race team. Currently we are considering a late-model Pontiac Trans Am as the project car. We are limited on many factors of the vehicles construction. Basic restrictions are a maximum engine displacement, cam lift, and compression ratio. As well as many other restrictions on suspension and braking upgrades, along with major safety precautions that must be taken. These restrictions can be used to our advantage because of our limited funds, since no real major (i.e. expensive) parts or modifications will be needed. We are confident that we will be capable of producing a competitive racecar.
Hopefully this latest project will give Ward College the recognition of not only running an acclaimed engineering technology program, but also to better present itself as a school that can turn dreams into reality. In order for this project to be accomplished, we are actively seeking sponsorships by local companies, automotive parts manufactures, and distributors. In conjunction with seeking sponsorships we are also holding weekly fundraisers in order to both raise funds for our endeavor as well as spreading the news of our exciting new project throughout Ward College and the entire University.
For more information about this exciting project,
please contact our Society at WardSEM@mail.hartford.edu. Also you may contact
our faculty liaison Howard Canistraro Ph.D. at email@example.com.
Further information is available through out while details about
SCCA racing and the American Sedan Class may be obtained at the official
SCCA website at http://www.scca.org.