MIAMI – Since 1995, Homestead-Miami Speedway has been the epicenter for motorsports in South Florida. On Friday, the Speedway partnered with Florida International University’s SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) team to host another kind of motorsports event, the inaugural Formula Miami Invitational. The invitational, which featured SAE teams from Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and University of Central Florida, had more than 40 student participants. The students utilized the Speedway’s facility to showcase their teams’ engineering and racing skills.

Each of the three teams on hand brought their own open cockpit racecar, which they had built from the ground up. The teams then put their racecars to the test in three separate events – acceleration, skidpad and autocross.

“The event is a great way to show off our engineering skills and to network with other universities,” said Ignacio Hernandez, Vice President for Florida International University SAE. “There’s nothing like having students unite in one place where they can put their student-built racecars to the test.”

The Formula Miami Invitational allowed the students to work on their racecars in real time throughout the competition, similar to how a pit crew team makes adjustments during a NASCAR race.

“This event is so important for us and for all the schools that are here because it gives us a chance to test our racecars, which we have been working on the entire year,” said Nathaniel Cadet, Testing Coordinator for Florida Atlantic University SAE. “It was great because we were able to make multiple runs with our racecar and then go back and make adjustments.”

The event also allowed the students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios, ultimately preparing them for a career within the engineering field.

“Formula SAE opens up windows of opportunity,” said Hoyt Hicks, Team Lead for University of Central Florida SAE. “We have team members moving on to some of the country’s major motor companies, and it’s really just a great way to express your love for engineering and motorsports all in one.”