Posted by Matt Jarosz On March - 9 - 2009


Formula SAE began life as a competition called Mini Indy in 1979. First held at the University of Houston; only eleven teams came to compete. Mini Indy, although based off of the idea of the then-SAE Mini Baja competition, was sought by it’s organizers to differentiate itself. In 1981, after a two year hiatus, organizers changed the name to Formula SAE and a new competition was born.


Today, the Formula SAE series is one of the largest engineering competition-series in the World, with nine international events, spread out over six countries annually and nearly 500 all-student teams worldwide.

The idea behind each competition is for student-only teams to conceive, design, manufacture and market a small open-wheel racecar which they then are judged in three “static” events: Engineering Design, Marketing Presentation and Cost/Manufacturing. In addition each team participates in four “dynamic” events: Acceleration, a figure eight Skidpad, Autocross and Endurance/Fuel Economy.

Formula SAE Michigan

Formula SAE Michigan, the largest of the nine competitions, is held every spring in Michigan in the US. Sponsored by a collaboration of the Society of Automotive Engineers, General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler Corporation, it brings a space-limited 120 teams hailing from virtually every continent on the face of the Earth to the southeastern portion of the Great Lakes State every May. Michigan State University has been participating in Formula SAE since the mid-1980s.

Formula SAE will be held at Michigan International Speedway from May 14-17, 2014. It is open to the public and free for guests.

Formula SAE Lincoln

Formula SAE Lincoln, first began as Formula SAE West in 2006 and was the second competition to be created in the United States. It was originally hosted at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. However, in 2012, the event moved to the Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, NE and will be held annually there. The event is limited to 80 teams, and will be held from June 18-21, 2014.