By Anais Hernandez, May 2, 2023
Bronco Motorsports made its presence known at the 48th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach over the three-day weekend event as the team showcased its skill in design and manufacturing as well as its updated livery.
Cal Poly Pomona’s very own Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, better known as the FSAE, had the opportunity to showcase its race car at the three-day event in Long Beach, which attracts racing enthusiasts from all around the world. Bronco Motorsports was one of only three teams representing a university at the event.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach is a well-known and prestigious event that features a convention and a variety of races, including IndyCar, Stadium Super Trucks and SportsCar Championship.
The Bronco Motorsports team designed and built its race car, BM-22, and had it on display at the convention part of the event. Not only were Broncos invited to showcase their car at the convention, but they also had the opportunity to meet and network with professionals from the industry.
Bronco Motorsports club president Marvin Sevilla expressed how proud he and the team felt to have their race car at the Long Beach Convention Center for the exhibition.
“When the car was dropped off at the same time a trailer with professional Porsches was coming in and other race cars, too,” stated Sevilla. “It just felt so surreal because every single hour that we spent working on the car seemed worth it at that moment.”
Sevilla expressed how proud he felt to showcase the car at the Grand Prix after working endless hours and sacrificing a lot of time to put on the new livery and make changes to the race car.
“We actually get to see that work put into play and like next to the Porsches and other professional teams. So it was pretty surreal, I would say,” said Sevilla.
Business lead Sneha Ramakrishnan mentioned that the Broncos also had the opportunity to access the Arrow McLaren paddock, where they interacted with the IndyCar team of engineers and could ask questions about the workforce.
“It was pretty fun,” said Ramakrishnan. “We were able to be upfront when they were showing the new (Arrow McLaren) livery. “We also got to talk with Zac Brown and the social media and communication people, and we asked questions about how they got into the industry, how they got their jobs and if they had a motorsports background.”
Ramakrishnan also stated that this was an excellent opportunity for her to see other women in motorsports. She interacted with female engineers and social media personnel, which gave her hope for future women that will form part of motorsports.
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach gave the Bronco Motorsports team a view into the industry that the students are preparing for. They also got the opportunity to make many connections with engineers and motorsports enthusiasts.
Regarding preparation for future events, the team recently extended its shop hours, with the shop now opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m. instead of their previous closing time of 5 p.m.
Undertray and diffuser captain Orestis Metaxas stated that on the BM-22, they included the “Built During Business Hours” phrase on the back of the race car because the team only has access to the shop Monday to Friday during that set time frame.
“No weekends are available at the shop because we have testing,” said Metaxas. “Everyone says we’re crazy, but now shop time has been increased to a limited time on Saturdays. Bronco Motorsports is not an engineering club and a time management club. It’s about making the car the best it can be; that’s all it is.”
The Formula SAE team is gearing up for their big competition in May that will take place in Michigan. Aside from updating the new livery, the team is fine-tuning the race car in preparation for competing against national and international universities.
Feature image by Darren Loo
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