The University of Saskatchewan Huskie Motorsports team is busy perfecting its prototype vehicle that will race in Fontana, California next week.
The team, which consists of approximately 20 students, has been preparing all year for the competition that pits 80 teams from around the world against each other in a challenge to find the top vehicle.
“It’s more about car development than it is winning a race,” said team captain Spencer Nelson. “There are static and dynamic events in the competition. The static events would be things like marketing, design and cost. The dynamic events range from your vehicle’s acceleration, its endurance, its fuel economy and its skid pad — which rates how much sideways grip you generate.”
The vehicle’s endurance is tested in a 22km time trial during which at least one driver switch must occur.
“Drivers are selected on experience and consistency,” said Nelson. “We have a couple guys that have cart racing backgrounds. For instance, Jessie Shields is the controls leader but also has a carting background. He’s a natural.”
The team has been competing in the competition since 2001 and usually finishes around the middle of the field. This year, they hope to do much better.
“Last year we placed 42nd out of 80 teams — we had the car break on the first couple of tests. This year we’re looking for a top 20 performance.”