Driving Innovation: Pellissippi State Motorsports Teams Up with Flatrock Motorsports Park

 Westel, Tennessee (December 12th , 2023) – Flatrock Motorsports Park in the heart of Cumberland County will support student-led Pellissippi State Motorsports by allowing the team access to its state-of-the-art circuits, becoming the college’s home track. 

The partnership includes a $5,000 sponsorship to the Pellissippi State Community College Foundation, which Pellissippi State Motorsports will use to cover the Formula SAE Michigan registration fee for its 2024 competition and to help offset some of the race car’s engine and frame costs. 

“Pellissippi State is committed to providing our students with experiential learning while they’re still in school so that they have an advantage whether they’re transferring to a four-year institution or going straight into the workforce after they complete their associate degree,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “With the addition of Flatrock Motorsports Park within an hour of Pellissippi State, our students on our Pellissippi State Motorsports team will have more access to motorsport minds, facilities and real-world experiences that will set them up for success in both developing their race car for competition and in preparing for their career.” 

The Formula SAE series competitions, hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, challenge teams of college undergraduate and graduate students to conceive, design, fabricate, develop and compete with small, formula style vehicles. 

Pellissippi State Motorsports entered its first Formula SAE competition in 2019, where the chief design judge said the team’s car was the best first-year car he had ever seen. The students learned from that experience and refined the design of their car, finishing sixth in the nation in 2021, only the team’s second competition since the 2020 event was canceled due to COVID. 

Pellissippi State has been the only community college in the country in all the Formula SAE events the team has entered, competing against some of the best undergraduate and graduate engineering programs in the country and the world. 

Rusty Bittle, Developer and Founding Partner of Flatrock Motorsports Park 

“We are thrilled to support Pellissippi State Motorsports,” said Rusty Bittle, Developer and Founding Partner at Flatrock Motorsports Park. “Our aim is to foster a new generation of talent by providing access to our circuits, sharing our expertise, and opening doors within the motorsports community. Collaborating with Pellissippi State not only bolsters their Formula SAE aspirations but also reinforces our commitment to advancing education within motorsports.” 

Key elements of the partnership include. 

  • Team-building activities at Flatrock, including learning about safety and track systems. 
  • Time on the Flatrock Motorsports Park facilities to test Pellissippi State Motorsports’ vehicle and develop the team’s drivers. 
  • Networking opportunities within the motorsports community that will connect Pellissippi State students with individuals and companies that can answer questions and help the team be more successful in developing a Formula SAE race car; and 
  • Being a part of events at Flatrock. 

“Pellissippi State Motorsports has team members in many different areas of study — from business to engineering to manufacturing and more – so this partnership with Flatrock will give us the opportunity learn from a large motorsports operation and implement what we learn into our race car through designing, building, testing, marketing and competing,” said Sean Liner, Business Lead and Powertrain Lead for Pellissippi State Motorsports. “We are excited to work together and showcase the relationships that can be built between academia and industry while increasing the visibility and importance of the Formula SAE program at Pellissippi State.”