Parks Racing is hosted out of Parks College, the School of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology at Saint Louis University. We are a club that competes in a collegiate design competition known as FSAE (Formula – Society of Automotive Engineers). It is an international competition hosting nearly 120 schools at each event. Nearly every single part of our vehicle is designed and built in the team's shop, as this is in the spirit of the competition. Parks Racing places a large emphasis on craftsmanship, in addition to functionality, to ensure that the best possible vehicle is produced.
Undoubtedly the finest vehicle to ever be produced by Parks Racing, #31 saw drastic improvements to suspension, bodywork, brakes, ergonomics, chassis, and countless other vehicle subsystems. Sadly, the race week was cut short for Parks Racing in Lincoln due to the tilt test. The team was aware of what caused the fault, but due to limited time, was unable to correct the issue quick enough.
As the team was stressed for time and resources to make it to Lincoln in 2016, the car had not yet achieved its full potential. So in preparation for the 2017 Michigan competition, Parks Racing tore down and rebuilt #61, and #91 was born. Systems were reworked and optimized, improving on the design issues faced with the first attempt. Despite coming 6 laps short of completing the endurance, the team saw great success at competition. The club earned 4th in the cost competition and received the highest score for craftsmanship and fit-and-finish.
Between the Fall of 2014 and the Spring of 2015, the first iteration of the new design began to take shape in the form of #61. The team spent the next year expanding the club and gaining committed members. It was a tough task, but their car was completed just in time for competition in Lincoln in 2016. A brake failure at one of the wheels kept the team from passing the braking test in time to enter the dynamic events.
A group of 5 underclassmen stumbled on the remains of the club in 2013. Although inexperienced, these students were highly driven and determined to restart the club. They managed to recharter the club and gain support from an engineering mentor. Despite time and resources being fully against them, they completed a car from scratch, #58, which they entered in the competition at Lincoln, NE in 2014. Unfortunately, they were unable to pass the exhaust noise test. They returned home, and immediately began on a new design, which has become the foundation for Parks Racing's most recent cars.
The product of the first ever Parks Racing Team. The first attempt at this collegiate competition made an appearance in Brooklyn, MI in 2005. After 3 years in the making, this group was able to demonstrate a strong performance. However, their debut was sadly cut short by a rod end failure late in the endurance test.
The competitions are created to test the capabilities of the contending teams on their designing, manufacturing, and racing skills. Teams are given a rule book filled with specifications to be met in order to compete. Competition begins with a technical inspection to ensure the car meets all the requirements. This is followed by a tilt test where the car must remain planted to a table at a 60-degree angle. After the tilt table, the car tackles a sound test. The sound emitted by the exhaust must be lower than 110 decibels. The final preliminary test is the braking test. It requires the car to come to a complete stop without veering while locking all four wheels. All of these tests are required before the car can compete in dynamic events. Dynamic events consist of a 70-meter acceleration event, a skidpad event, an autocross event, and ultimatley a 22-kilometer endurance race.