Lyn St. James, former record-setting Indy race car driver and Kettering Trustee, tutored eight members of the Kettering Formula SAE team in racing technique April 24, at Whiteland Raceway, near Indianapolis. St. James shared tips on mental preparation, learning the layout of the track and visualizing the ideal "line" through each turn.
The group included team leader Travis Slagle, Berwyn, Neb., and members Tony Do, Franklin, Wis., Kristen Meador, Powell, Wyo., Luke Sagur, Bowmanville, Ontario, Drew Nabb, Cambridge, Md., Matt Giles, Gasport, N.Y., Dave Jaques, St Catherines, Ontario, and Chris Barber Bloomington, Minn.
She explained proper ways to manage tight corners and turns while maintaining speed and control of the vehicle. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of concentration and keeping a clear view of the course during a race. The event was designed to help improve driver skill among members of the Formula SAE team, who will compete in the national Formula SAE competition at the Silverdome in Detroit, May 15 to 19.
The students drove karts provided by the track and applied St. James' advice to improve their lap times throughout the day. Every student had significantly improved lap times following the session.
Formula SAE is a collegiate design competition in which engineering students from across the nation are challenged to build an open-cockpit, Formula-style race car. Teams are judged on design, cost and performance of the vehicle.