Ragin' Cajun Racing



UL Lafayette’s First Formula SAE Car – circa 2001


UL Lafayette has a long running history with the SAE. In 1976 we were one of only 10 teams at the first ever Mini Baja competition, the offroad equivalent of Formula SAE, and the following year we sponsored and hosted the competition. Some time later, Dr. John Stevens, the founder of Mini Baja, served as Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department back when the school was still known as University of Southwestern Louisiana.

More recently in 2001, UL Lafayette competed in Formula SAE for the first time ever when a group of students pursued it as their Senior Project. However, we have been absent from the competition ever since.

Realizing the importance of such events, the positive effects they have on students’ education and the school’s reputation, we hope to reestablish a Formula SAE team at UL Lafayette and continue building on such a rich history through the Formula SAE competition.


Formula SAE® is a student design competition organized by SAE International (formerly Society of Automotive Engineers). The first competition was started in 1979 after Mark Marshek, then at University of Houston (Texas), contacted the SAE Educational Relations Department in 1978 to discuss adding a variant event of the Mini Baja. This event would initially be known as Mini Indy. In 1981, Dr Bob Woods took the helm and after revamping the rules and structure of the competition renamed it Formula SAE.

The concept behind Formula SAE is that a fictional manufacturing company has contracted a design team to develop a small Formula-style race car. The prototype race car is to be evaluated for its potential as a production item. The target marketing group for the race car is the non-professional weekend autocross racer. Each student team designs, builds and tests a prototype based on a series of rules whose purpose is both to ensure onsite event operations and promote clever problem solving.

The Formula SAE ® Series competitions challenge teams of university students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete with small, formula style, vehicles. In order to give teams the maximum design flexibility and the freedom to express their creativity and imaginations there are very few restrictions on the overall vehicle design. The vehicle should have very high performance in terms of acceleration, braking and handling and be sufficiently durable to successfully complete all the events described in the Formula SAE Rules and held at the Formula SAE competitions.



We are a group of students excited about the possibilities presented by the beginnings of a Formula SAE team at UL Lafayette. While there is a certain “cool factor” inherent with building a race car, we are primarily motivated by educational aspects which we believe will accelerate our learning and ultimately make us better engineers. One of the best ways to learn is by doing. The Formula SAE competition provides students with a way to do exactly that. 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. Formula SAE takes students out of the classroom and allows them to apply textbook theories to real work experiences. Many students’ understanding of engineering and their problem solving abilities will exceed what is being taught in the classroom and that of their peers. Because of this we believe Formula SAE is one of the best ways to facilitate the success of those students who choose to participate and creates an environment which promotes creativity, and motivates students to challenge themselves beyond the classroom.