NORFOLK — The ODU professional Motorsports team recently returned from Trois-Rivières in Quebec, Canada where their vehicles won first place in the International Motorsports Association Mazda Prototype Challenge Masters class, an international professional racing series.
The win also put the Old Dominion team in first place in the 2017 championship.
The team competes with a pair of Mazda Prototype Challenge cars in events across the United States and Canada, exposing the ODU Motorsports program to over 1 million fans over the course of a 13-race season. These events are governed by the International Motor Sports Association, the premier sanctioning body for sports car competitions in North America.
ODU Motorsports includes several engineering alumni and student volunteers. Victor Seaber, who manages the Old Dominion University Engine and Drivetrain Laboratory at Virginia International Raceway, as part of the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER), said an invaluable experience is created when graduates work with students.
“Graduates of the ODU Motorsports program provide a well-educated and highly motivated pool of talent for professional teams to draw from,” Seaber said. “Student volunteers also work with the team from time to time to gather valuable hands on experience.”
A one-hour event recap of the race will air Thursday Sept. 14 on Fox Sports 2 at 8 p.m. Past broadcasts and live events can be viewed on IMSA.TV or on the IMSA Official YouTube channel.
ODU’s motorsports program aims to satisfy the educational aspirations of students and professionals involved in the motorsports industry. The program’s multipronged educational approach complements the motorsports engineering minor that is supported by the mechanical and aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering technology departments; two thriving student clubs who participate at SAE sanctioned design competitions; independent undergraduate senior design projects and the successful professional racing team at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
VIR is a multipurpose road racing facility near Danville that hosts a wide range of professional and amateur track events. In addition, the facility serves as a hub for motorsports research for a number of universities, including Old Dominion.
The VIPER Engine and Drivetrain Lab serves three purposes at VIR: providing testing and support services for academic and private race projects at the track, conducting research on drivetrain mechanics and vehicle performance, and supporting ODU’s aerospace engineering and motorsport science programs.