People complain that the young people of today don’t like cars the way we did years ago. Alex Carson proves that isn’t always true. We met Alex at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 6. He was there with the electric-powered racing car that he and his fellow students in the Illinois Institute of Technology’s (www.facebook.com/iitmotorsports) program built.
Since I am personally involved with a college-based racing team from Fox Valley Technical College (www.fvtc.edu) that runs at Bonneville, I was very impressed as I heard Alex describe a racing program involving dozens of students that travels as far as New Hampshire to race and competes in multiple events each year.
It takes a lot of time and energy to conduct a program like that. There is the cost of building the high-tech, electric-powered racing car. Then there’s the travel costs. And the team members need to be motivated to keep everything on track, get the car where it has to be and then either drive it or crew for the team. Racing always looks like fun to the spectators, but there’s a great deal of behind-the-scenes work that goes into running a racing team.
In addition to all of the work at the track and getting to the track, there are other jobs, too, such as spending long days at the Chicago Auto Show giving out information about the team and trying to enlist backing from sponsors. In case you haven’t heard, the economy is tight these days and it’s hard to drum up donations for a student racing team.
Anyone who might be interested in helping out the Illinois Institute of Technology motorsports team can get in touch with Alex Carlson, 3201 S. State St., McCormick-Tribune Campus Center, Chicago, IL 60616 or email him at SAE@iit.edu. It’s great to see young people playing with cars and building up their auto enthusiasm and a great way to speed that along is to support worthy efforts like this one.