Powercat Motorsports wins inaugural Formula Wheat competition
Friday, Oct. 13, 2023
Members of the Powercat Motorsports team pose with their trophy and racecar after winning at Formula Wheat. From left: Ethan Gibbs, Nicholas Lake, Ashton King, Joseph Straub, Anish Srivastava, Brayden Kern, Carter Cygan, Caleb Fox, Tyler Weber, Quin Kennedy, Thomas Harp, Wyatt Haug, Noah Beckert, Spencer Strahm, Payton Lee, Kyle Duewer and Andrew Arensman. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's Powercat Motorsports team hosted and won its first competition event in Manhattan at Tuttle Creek Spillway in a weekend event held Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The team was the top performer among eight total race teams.
The inaugural Formula Wheat event was designed to be an unofficial competition that imitates a traditional Formula Society of Automotive Engineers event, giving each team additional experience while helping to raise the national profile of Powercat Motorsports, K-State's SAE Formula race team.
Powercat Motorsports is a sponsored student organization in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering, and the event was planned and run by the team with help from alumni.
"Formula Wheat was a massive undertaking, and we would like to thank the college, our volunteers, our sponsors and all the teams for participating and making it so successful," said Anish Srivastava, president of Powercat Motorsports and senior in mechanical engineering and business administration. "This is only the start of Powercat Motorsports' mission to make the K-State Formula SAE team the strongest team in the Big 12 and the Midwest."
K-State took first overall in the event, narrowly edging second place Iowa State by eight points, while the University of Missouri rounded out the top three. Powercat Motorsports won the autocross and acceleration events while taking second in endurance and third in skidpad.
The Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, the University of Kansas, the University of Colorado, Washington University in St. Louis and Wichita State University were the other competition participants.
Srivastava said the team plans to make the event an annual competition, with the potential for other Kansas institutions to host in the future. The group decided to host its own event after fearing they might miss out on their annual trip to Brooklyn, Michigan, for Formula SAE Michigan, after spending many months on the waitlist to compete.
"We were confident that we were going to get off the waitlist, so no one was worried," Srivastava said. "Come April 2023 we were still on the waitlist, and since we wanted to give the freshmen a chance at seeing a competition, we decided to host one. Luckily, at the 11th hour we got off the waitlist, and we ended up with two competitions in one season."
In June 2023, Powercat Motorsports finished in 14th place at Formula SAE Michigan, its best finish in club history.