Silverstone Racing Debuts Georgia Tech Car, Educational Partnerships at Miami Race
Silverstone Racing unveiled a new car and a new partnership with Georgia Tech at the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Thursday, February 26, 2004. The car, a number 39 Crawford-manufactured Daytona Prototype, is painted Georgia Tech colors -- gold and white -- and sports the logo of the Georgia Institute of Technology, alma mater of car owner Lawrence P. Huang. Joining Silverstone Racing this season are three new members from GT Motorsports, Tech's student racing team, and a marketing team made up of students from the DuPree College of Management, the business school at Georgia Tech.
"I'm amazed at the level of sophistication the GT Motorsports cars achieve, especially in the area of software systems. The students from GT Motorsports bring a tremendous amount of technological expertise to the team," said Huang.
The Georgia Tech car will compete in each of the remaining 10 races of the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, appearing at speedways such as Watkins Glen, Daytona International Speedway and California Speedway. Racing at speeds up to 190 miles per hour , the Georgia Tech car is a flat-bottomed, closed-cockpit car with a 5.4 liter, 500 horsepower, V-8 engine. Huang is paired with Chris Hall, a former champion Formula Ford driver who is also the co-founder and operator of Silverstone Racing. The car finished in 10th place in Miami. The next race is at Phoenix International Raceway April 8-10.
GT Motorsport veterans Matt Stephens, Scott Flanagan and Kevin Bray joined Silverstone as trackside engineers and members of the pit crew. This season they'll be responsible for further developing software to control various functions. Each year, the members of GT Motorsports design, build and race their own open-wheel formula race car in competitions around the world. Fresh from three first-place victories in three years in the United Kingdom and Australia, the students from GT Motorsports are ready to hone their skills on a professional racing team.
"We're all really excited. Most of us want to work in professional racing, so this is a great opportunity for us." said Stephens.
"Our partnership with Tech gives the students an opportunity to use the skills they've learned at Tech and as part of GT Motorsports in a real-world environment. We hope this lasts well beyond this year's racing series," said Huang.
Huang graduated from Georgia Tech in 1973 with a degree in industrial management and has been a strong supporter of the university ever since. In addition to providing engineering students with valuable experience, Silverstone Racing is hosting a competition at the business school for students to develop a marketing plan for the Georgia Tech car. The winning marketing team will then implement its plan throughout the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.
"Our students' technologically focused business education gives them the perfect preparation to successfully market the Georgia Tech car to potential sponsors. Working with Siliverstone Racing will be a great forum for our students to market their skills," said Terry Blum, dean of the business school.
All races in the 2004 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series (http://www.grandamerican.com/) are scheduled to be broadcast on the Speed Channel.
About Larry P. Huang: Co-founder of optical communications company Ciena Corporation in 1993, he currently serves on the business school's Advisory Board as the Development Committee chair and Board chair-elect, and is serving his second term on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees.
Huang established the Huang Executive Education Center at the business school and is the founder of the Lawrence P. Huang Endowed Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship.
Huang has successfully competed in the Ferrari Challenge Series and took the overall championship in the 2002 Panoz Racing Series. Huang drove the number 39 Corvette in the 2003 Grand-Am Cup Series, where he and Chris Hall finished third, at Barber Motorsport Park.
About Silverstone Racing: Silverstone Racing was co-founded by Chris Hall, who has been racing for 20 years and teaching at racing schools for 17 years. He has raced against some of the top drivers in the World and has won three British championships. Hall moved from London to the United States in 1993 to pursue a racing career in NASCAR and was the first European to compete in a full NASCAR touring series. Hall's racing resume includes: NASCAR Goody's Dash Series 1998 (Most Improved Driver of the Year), 2001 24 Hours of Daytona (3rd SRPII class), U.S.C.S. Sprint Cars Concord, NC, winner, 2003 Grand American Cup Series. Silverstone Racing and offers race preparation and car restoration services. In addition to Hall and Huang, Silverstone Racing team permanent members include Mary Hall, Nancy Huang, Cesar Gaziola (crew chief) and Jake Randels (assistant crew chief.)
About Georgia Tech: The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation's premiere research universities. Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report's top 10 public universities, Georgia Tech educates nearly 17,000 students every year through its Colleges of Engineering, Management, Computing, Sciences, Architecture and Liberal Arts. Tech is committed to maintaining a diverse campus and consistently ranks as one of the nation's top producers of women and African-American engineers. Offering research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students, Georgia Tech is home to more than 80 interdisciplinary units and the Georgia Tech Research Institute. During the 2002-2003 academic year, Tech totaled more than $660 million in research awards and expenditures.