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Special Motorsports Event - Starworks Motorsports Partners With University Of South Florida Formula SAE Team

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THE DEAL: Starworks Motorsports, one of the brightest and fastest-growing outfits on the Grand-Am racing program, has forged an exciting new partnership with the University of South Florida’s Formula SAE team.

Starworks’ GS motorsport program, led by Marcus Haselgrove and with lead drivers Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio, will give a unique opportunity for the students to learn from one of the up-and-coming teams in motorsport.

The students will get a first-hand view of life in the fast lane by joining the pitcrew for the GS team.

They will provide valuable technical back-up and provide over-the-wall assistance.

Starworks Motorsports will run a four-car team of Ford Mustang cars in the 13-round Continential Tires series.

As well as Dalziel and Potolicchio, Alex Popow will be in the second car, with John Dalziel and Miguel Potolicchio in the third car. The drivers for the fourth car, which will come on stream, after Daytona in January will be confirmed shortly, as will Alex Popow’s team-mate.

THE QUOTES: Marcus Haselgrove, Starworks GS program manager, said:

“You are always trying to get a mixture of an experienced crew with a variety of skills.

“You are also looking for tomorrow’s emerging talent — that helps the team to develop and grow.

“When you look at the resumes these days it’s very clear that the main path into race teams come from two sources — Skip Barber and Formula SAE.

“After speaking to a few universities, the University of South Florida seemed like the perfect match for Starworks Motorsports.

“They had a mixture of undergraduates and post graduates. They were not partnered with another team. And, being a smaller team, they were used to multi-tasking their fabrication, assembly and engineering and design skills.

“You also have some very athletic people in their early 20s which is never a bad thing for pitstops.

“We are sure they are going to make a positive contribution to our Ford Mustang GS program and we are delighted to have them on board.

“The Formula SAE is an excellent concept and the standard of people involved just seems to be getting better and better. We are sure they will be great ambassadors for University of South Florida SAE.”

Simon Restrepo, University of South Florida SAE team president, said: “USF Racing is very excited to forge a new partnership with Starworks Motorsports. For us the decision was easy as Starworks’ credentials speak for themselves. The partnership will give our students a natural segway into the motorsports industry and strengthen our team by giving our members the opportunity to learn first hand from some of the best in the business. We look forward to growing with the team and winning many races with Starworks and the Mustang GS!”

NOTES: Formula SAE got its start in the 1970s through Mini-Baja. In 1979, the SAE (Society for Automotive Engineers) held a road course event called the Mini-Indy. Six schools competed. Today, the Formula SAE competition has grown to over 450 teams from over 41 countries. It was first held in Texas at the University of Houston. Since then, Formula SAE has branched off into eight major competitions held on four different continents.

The concept is that a fictional manufacturing company wants a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. Formula SAE promotes careers and excellence in engineering as it encompasses all aspects of the automotive industry including research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and finances.