By Matt Kwong
Funding discussions between RyeSAC and Ryerson’s Formula SAE team are back on track.
After a brief pit stop, Derek Isber, vice president of student life and events, said the racing team will be on the agenda at this week’s meeting with the board of directors.
“I’ve always been a supporter of the team, but to be honest it was just an error in communication,” Isber said of the reason the team never heard back from RyeSAC even after sending three funding proposals. He has since met with representatives of the team and assured them he supports the project to construct and race a car at an international competition.
According to Isber, the team didn’t receive financial support from RyeSAC initially because the requests for funding weren’t clear to him.
“I’d received invites — like invitational dinners and things. They were apparently solicitations for funding, but I didn’t go and assumed it was thank-yous for prior years,” he said.
Team member and aerospace engineering student Robert Szybalski met with Isber and showed him that the team’s budget was at a deficit of $20,000. While the team awaits to hear how much funding they’ll get, they’ve already got sponsors.
Ryerson’s Project Funding Allocation Committee donated $7,000 to the team, which also received $1,300 from the Ryerson Engineering Students Society.
While the team hasn’t seen any money from RyeSAC, it has been able to benefit from corporate donations. A Ryerson mechanical engineering graduate who now heads Multimatic Motorsports Inc. — one of Canada’s leading race car developers — donated $3,000 worth of “honeycomb” panels (which are 10 times stronger than steel for side impact), and sent experts to help with the building process.
In addition, Creations Autobody threw in a free custom paint job, Yamaha donated an engine valued at $5,000 and Dana Manufacturing gave away two radiators and an oil cooler on top of $500 in funding.
From bearings and joints to welding supplies, the SAE team has scrambled to cover its bases. So far, Szybalski says the team is hanging on.
“As you can see, nothing’s really cheap,” he said, reciting his list of sponsors. “We really appreciate all the help we can get.”