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ODU Engineering Students Take Part in 'Sports Car Wars' Event at VIR

Two Old Dominion University engineering students participated in the "Sports Car Wars" event held the weekend of September 10-12 at Virginia International Raceway.

The students, engineering technology major Jonathan Huffer and graduate mechanical and aerospace engineering major Jerry Chen, joined two students from Patrick Henry Community College at the track near Alton, Va.

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) World Challenge Sports Car Wars Cadets Program gives future engineers an inside look at the tasks, duties and lifestyle of race engineers. The students also have an opportunity to make valuable contacts and gain a glimpse inside the life of a motorsports team.

The student participants were recruited and selected by Victor Seaber, who manages the ODU Engine and Drivetrain Laboratory at VIR as part of the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER).

PHCC students Robert Duncan (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Russell Tedeschi (Baltimore) were cadets for the DG-Spec Scion and CRP Racing Corvette teams, respectively. ODU students Chen (Norfolk) and Huffer (Stuarts Draft, Va.) were cadets for the Woodhouse Performance Dodge Viper and the Meyer Motorsports/XOWii Racing Mazda teams, respectively.

Jason Dukes, coordinator of the SCCA World Challenge Sports Car Wars Cadets Program, said the program was started at the last SCCA race in Ohio.

"The program was so successful that we decided to bring it to VIR," Dukes said.

"Thankfully, we were able to partner with Victor and VIPER, who was able to help us recruit these great students. VIR is a great facility and VIPER is an amazing program, so we are happy that the Cadets program can assist in supporting their program."

Chen summed up the experience this way: "Simply fantastic!"

The VIPER Engine and Drivetrain Lab serves three purposes at the VIR: providing testing services for academic and private-automobile projects at the track, conducting research on drivetrain mechanics and vehicle performance, and supporting ODU's aerospace engineering and motorsport science programs.

Virginia International Raceway is a multipurpose road racing facility located between Danville and South Boston. It hosts a wide range of professional and amateur track events, and is a hub for motorsports research for a number of universities, including ODU.

This article was posted on: September 17, 2010

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