SAE members drive at Gingerman Raceway

September 29, 2023

Three members of Trine University’s student chapter of the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) had the opportunity to drive on a professional track during a National Auto Sport Association (NASA) event over the summer.

The event, held June 24-25 at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan, included a High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) program.

Trine students Shelby Altman from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Nathaniel Acres from Fishers, Indiana, and Gibson Raimer from Lowell, Michigan, all mechanical engineering majors, drove as part of the program.

The program features multiple levels, with more difficulty as drivers move up. Participants learn in a classroom and then go out on the track to practice drills.

Those who complete level 4 can obtain a racing license.

Altman drove his Miata while Acres and Raimer co-drove the club’s Honda Civic in the level 1 class. Altman tested into level 2 by the end of the weekend.

“Driving on the track was a wild experience in and of itself,” Raimer said. “My first warm-up behind the wheel, to no surprise, resulted in a long list of critiques from my instructor. Learning from the classroom and building upon my weak points gave me milestones for each driving session, which were very satisfying to surpass.”

“Flying around Gingerman was the most exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping activity I have ever experienced. There is truly no better feeling than nailing the practiced racing line and grinning to yourself behind the helmet as the car flows into the next turn, knowing you're in for a great lap.”

Other members volunteered for NASA at the event.

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