The McGill Racing Team (MRT) has a rich history in the Formula SAE series. Since 1994, McGill Engineering Students have built seventeen race cars. Here is a short overview of the MRT history.
The First Generation 1994‐1999
McGill’s first Formula SAE team was formed in late 1994. The first project proved to be a daunting one – with the University having no experience in supporting such an effort and with none of the students involved having any previous racing or car designing experience, the prototype (named Boomerang) had to be designed, built, tested, and raced in less than 6 months. The total cost of the program was $85,000, which was raised entirely by the student team. Mazda Canada, Air Liquide, and Yamaha were the leading corporate sponsors.
The vehicle finished 3rd among the first– year cars in the 1995 Formula SAE competition and placed 23rd overall out of 94 entries. McGill received a special mention for the safety and aesthetics of the vehicle. Its 86HP power plant made it one of the most powerful cars in the Formula SAE line-up that year.
Boomerang II, was produced in 1996. It had a completely revised suspension, improved ergonomics, and weighed significantly less than its predecessor. The car never raced due to a computer failure days before the event, but it boasted impressive figures in testing, pulling 1.30g during skid pad runs on a wet and cold surface! Both vehicles were exposed at the Montreal Casino during the Montreal Grand Prix and the International Autoshow of 1995 and 1996.
Today, Boomerang I is displayed at an indoor karting track in Montreal as a silent witness to McGill’s motorsport history.
The second design, affectionately referred to as Big Bird, raced twice in Formula SAE, ranking 1st in Quebec and second in Canada for the 1998 season.
The Second Generation 1999‐2001
Big Bertha, so called because of its rather bulky look, was an enriching learning experience for many new members. Despite the challenges brought before the team, the MRT improved its best result with a 19th overall standing in the 2001 Formula SAE competition.
The Third Generation 2001‐2005
The McGill Racing Team’s 4th new design in competition achieved a great standing with a 13th overall position in the 2002 Detroit competition, 3rd in Canada and 1st among Quebec teams. Success continued for McGill, when the following year’s entry equipped with a turbocharger finished 5th in the world at the Formula SAE 2002 autocross event. The MRT 6 featured an under‐tray design to create down force, improved weight reduction and an award winning Engine Management System. This culminated with the MRT6 finishing 1st in Canada and 15th in the world. Unfortunately during the next year’s competition with the MRT7, a powertrain failure pulled the McGill Racing Team out of the final endurance race.
The Fourth Generation 2005‐2010
Following the graduation of many team members, a relatively inexperienced team brought forth a radically new chassis design and a further lightened suspension with the use of composite materials. This eighth iteration suffered from many problems during competition, mostly due to an aging engine configuration.
The MRT9 was designed with a focus on streamlined production, weight reduction, and increased reliability. An undergraduate design project dedicated to powertrain development produced the most powerful engine McGill has run to date. The MRT9 received the SAE Certificate of Achievement, finishing 50th out of 131 entries.
The MRTX was designed with only slight modification to improve performance and allow more time for production. While the finished product was a source of pride for the team, the engine failed and forced the car out of the endurance race. The MRT-XI was, by far, the McGill Racing Team’s most successful entrant. Despite a radically new design due to new rules, and a new single cylinder engine package, the MRT-XI finished an impressive 14th overall, 1st place in Fuel Economy, and 3rd in Canada. The improved MRT12, featuring a cutting-edge intake system, with 30% more power and improved suspension was hindered by engine problems during the endurance event, resulting in a 60th place finish.
The current generation of MRT prototypes is based on a philosophy of weight reduction. The designs have been developed around a Rotax DS450 single-cylinder engine.
In 2013, for the first time, the team attended Formula Student Germany. With a 14th place finish, including 4th in design, the McGill Racing Team has shown they can compete on the world stage.