Grand Valley Racing Team

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The Padnos College of Engineering was established as an answer to the need for engineering education in West Michigan in 2004. Today, engineering students gain valuable experience and expand their knowledge outside the classroom.

The Grand Valley Racing Team is one of the engineering clubs which gives automotive minded students a chance to get hands-on experience while expanding Grand Valley’s engineering reputation.

“It’s an opportunity for engineering students to build a miniature open wheel race car,” Michael Sweers, Grand Valley senior studying engineering, said. “We will take it to the Michigan International Speedway next May to compete against schools from around the country and around the world.”  

In addition to reinforcing the knowledge gained in the classroom, the Racing Team also offers students great networking opportunities with possible employers. Companies such as Mobile 1, Sunoco and Mazda sponsor these races and pay close attention to the talent on display. 

The Racing Team students are able to utilize this opportunity, along with many others, because of support they received from the Grand Valley donors. The support the Racing Team received has been directly used to purchase parts for the car as well as safety equipment and entrance fees to the competition. 

Sweers says without the funding they received the team would be out fundraising themselves instead of being able to focus on the studies and preparing the car for the race.

“I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who donated,” Sweers said. “It’s absolutely an honor to have received more than we expected.” 

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