Phoenix Racing Team wins award at student car design competition

The team was recognized in the Best Presentation category at SAE Carolina Student Night hosted by Kendrick Motorsports.

Elon’s Phoenix Racing Team — the student team designing and building an electric race car — took home a prize for their design presentation at a statewide competition among student engineering teams.

The team’s presentation took second prize at the SAE Carolina Student Night hosted by Hendrick Motorsports in Concord on March 15. Phoenix Racing presented alongside seven other Formula SAE teams, including those from N.C. State University, Duke University and Clemson University.

Elon’s team is building a Formula 1-style electric race car to compete against other student engineering teams at international competitions. Phoenix Racing plans to complete and compete the car for the first time at the Formula SAE Electric competition this June outside of Detroit. The team is raising money and recruiting sponsors and partners to complete the car this spring.

The March competition was an important step in that process, with judges from Hendrick Motorsports, BorgWarner, GM, HondaJet and Curtiss-Wright providing feedback and guidance on the team’s design, said Oliver Keicher ’27, Phoenix Racing’s business team lead.

“We worked tirelessly to get our car rolling before Carolina Night and all the work paid off,” said Oliver Keicher, Phoenix Racing’s business team lead. “Carolina Night was a great opportunity to network with other teams, industry leaders and Hendrick Motorsports, and we received positive feedback as a new team.”

Gracyn Speter ’25, who leads Phoenix Racing’s chassis and suspension team, said the event helped prepare for future competitions.

“The sense of community and the level of excellence I observed at Carolina Night surpassed what I imagined,” Speter said.

The team is housed in Elon’s Department of Engineering and is advised by Engineering Lab Manager Matthew Banks. The team includes students from many majors among nearly 20 members. Its first car is being fabricated in the Clark Prototype Lab inside Founders Hall.

The students’ work is garnering attention and was featured on Fox 8’s “Made in N.C.” segment last fall.

You can follow the team’s progress on Instagram. To support the team or learn more about its work, email team leaders at