Posted on November 26 2015
As an Illinois native, Austin loves building, tuning, and racing cars...and of course...camping, fishing, hiking and exploring. Some words from Austin:
I’ve always loved cars and racing, going to shows and cruise nights with my dad for as long as I can remember, and watching every sports car, open wheel, and rally race I could find on TV, and attending many at Blackhawk Farms and Road America. I got my first project car around my 17th birthday, with no idea how to drive with three pedals or fix anything on it, and taught myself everything as fast as I could. Once I’d fixed it up and improved it a bit over that fall and winter, I started autocrossing it the following spring, which I’ve continued since, and which has led to custom designing and manufacturing a lot of components in search of better times. As the car got faster, I started mixing in some high-speed track days with the autocross, always trying to go even faster. When I transferred to NIU after a few years at COD, I immediately joined the SAE Formula team, designing, building, and driving small open-wheel race cars. I’ve now designed and fabricated almost every major component on those cars, from engine and drivetrain to chassis, suspension, brakes, and aero, and competed in several international SAE events. My experience with the Formula team led me to cross paths with Francesco in late 2014, which is how I ended up as an engineer at Team Stradale for the start of the 2015 season.
While at COD, and for the first half of my NIU career, I worked as the retail manager and assistant store manager at my local auto parts store for a few years, and tended bar at a couple of local bars. After that, I got a job at an industrial automation firm designing robot and vision part inspection systems for large automotive component manufacturing facilities, and then joined Team Stradale. Enough said. I love it here.