Michigan International Speedway will host the event from May 14-17.
Brooks Byam, SVSU professor of mechanical engineering and Cardinal Formula Racing adviser since 1998, said the 2014 team features an eclectic mix of 16 students designing an Indy-style vehicle distinct from previous incarnations.
“What's unique about this year's team is how multidisciplinary it is,” he said.
For instance, “this is the strongest contingent of electrical engineering students we've had,” he said.
As a result, the Cardinal Formula Racing team has built its first vehicle with a touch screen dash where drivers can control the race car's systems.
The group - largely comprised of mechanical engineering majors - also features students studying marketing, accounting and fine arts.
“The really unique part is having the artist on the team,” Byam said of Pinconning native Samuel Dantuma. “He's fantastic.”
Dantuma has helped design elements for the vehicle with artistic flair, including a shroud that covers the car's shocks.
“The parts are very functional and very attractive,” Byam said of Dantuma's contributions.
Byam didn't offer predictions for the team's performance at the upcoming event, which will test teams in categories that include design, cost, acceleration and endurance.
“The car has the basics to be very fast - not a lot of mass, a lot of horsepower - but it's hard to tell how we might do right now,” he said. “We have to have things go our way.”
Byam has led SVSU to four top-20 finishes, placing sixth in 2002, eighth in 2005, 14th in 2008 and 18th in 2010. Several past team members have continued to engineering careers in NASCAR and other racing series, as well as leading automotive manufacturers.
Last year, Byam won the competition's Carroll Smith Mentor's Cup, given to one outstanding faculty mentor each year since 1999.
Erich Heuschele, an adjunct instructor of engineering, serves as the team's industry advisor.
The mechanical engineering students on the team are:
• Jarred Felt of Muskegon
• Alex Fullerton of Onaway
• Zach Haveraneck of Saginaw
• Brandon King of Saginaw
• Matthew Kline of Jonesville
• Clayton Piechowiak of Bay City
• Zachary Putnam of Hale
• Logan Shelagowski of Bay City
• Brandon Stanhope of Dearborn
• Brandon Verhun of Ann Arbor
The group's two electrical engineering majors are Justin Dolane of Davisburg, and Shane Oberloier of Beaverton.
In addition, there are three business students. Two from Saginaw are graduate students studying for a master of business administration degree: Henry Shin and Joey Wisniewski. Scott Stanford of Novi is an accounting major.