Team History

Triton Racing is UC San Diego’s Formula SAE team, established in 1997. Triton Racing started with a small group of dedicated students who started in a garage and put their engineering know-how to use by designing and building a formula-style race car from scratch. Since then, the team has established itself as a formidable contender at the Formula SAE competitions in Michigan and Lincoln (formerly Fontana). Triton Racing has also made its presence in the San Diego community known through extensive media exposure and involvement in the local chapter of the Sports Car Club of America. Today, guided by a strong alumni base, a UC San Diego faculty adviser renowned for his work in solid mechanics, and a community adviser with over 30 years of racing experience, Triton Racing continues to produce cutting edge race cars.

Documentary (TR15)
Documentary (TR16S)
coming soon

The 2016 and 2017 Team (TR-16S)


TR16 was an evolution over TR-15 with improvements in handling and ergonomics, and an improved de Dion truss structure. Sadly, the 2016 team was met with disappointment when the car’s differential mount broke just before competition. In 2017, alongside efforts to restructure the team and facilitate knowledge transfer, the team fixed, tested and improved upon TR16 and renamed it TR16S. Once it finally made it to Nebraska, TR16S finished 8th with an overall score of 710.2 out of 1000 points! Highlights included placing 7th in Autocross, 8th in Fuel Efficiency, and 9th in Endurance. This is the most successful result Triton Racing has achieved thus far.

The 2015 Team (TR-15)

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TR-15 was a revolutionary car featuring a de Dion type rear suspension and UCSD’s first aerodynamics package. Finishing 24th overall at the Lincoln FSAE Competition, and with a second place finish in efficiency, the Triton Racing Team of 2015 scored 481.5 points in total.

The 2014 Team (TR-14)

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The 2014 team was the first to score in all events at competition due to the robust design and stock ECU on the 4 cylinder engine. Disaster struck the team after the first autocross run as a defective purchased part caused a total front suspension failure. By the next morning, the car was repaired and ready to take on the competition at the 22km endurance race. UC San Diego’s first car to take a score home for every event left with 346.6 points and 43rd out of about 80 teams that showed up.

The 2011 Team (TR-11)

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The 2011 team utilized the components of the 2009 single cylinder car, with a new chassis and the supercharger finally installed and ready to work. TR-11 weighed in at 430 pounds and finished 41st at FSAE West at Fontana in 2011 with 225 pts.

The 2009 Team (TR-9E)

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TR-9E, formerly TR-7W, was UC San Diego’s first all-electric race car TR-9E was one of only 20 electric cars to pass tech inspection and finished 9th overall in the Formula Hybrid competition held in New Hampshire.

The 2009 Team (TR-9)

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TR-9 car represented a radical change in direction in terms of design. The car featured a single cylinder Yamaha WR450 engine, bored and stroked to 565 cc, composite suspension components, and 10” wheels. A supercharger was pkanned and designed for but taken out as a compromise for reliability. The car weighed in at finished 39th at FSAE West with 110 pts.

TR7—Last Minute Substitute

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After the in-development vehicle was determined to be unfit for competition, the women’s team, which had been completely modifying the old 2004 chassis, was substituted for them. The crank angle sensor failed just before the autocross event, and no spare was available, so the car was required to retire from the competition. TR-7W used brake calipers integrated within the magnesium uprights to allow for sleeker packaging of the wheels.

The 2006 Team (TR-6)

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Key changes to the 2006 car include: solenoid shifting, custom magnesium wheel centers, and a WRD differential. The team also used Altair HyperWorks Optistruct and other optimization programs to aid in their designs. The car ended up at 490 lbs and 85 horsepower and placed 2nd in the acceleration event (0-75m in 4.127 seconds) and 29th overall at the Fontana competition in 2006 with 330 points.

The 2005 Team (TR-5)

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In 2005, the team improved on previous designs with the addition of a supercharger and a reversed cylinder head to package it in a more innovative way. TR-5 placed 59th at the FSAE competition in Detroit with 351 points.

The 2004 Team (TR-4)

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The 2003 car was the first car since the hiatus after 2001 and used parts from conventional road vehicles to save development time. It placed 73rd at Detroit 2004 with 285 pts.

The MAE 156 Attempt (1999-2001)

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Between 1999 and 2001, SAE was primarily made up of students working on the car as part of the school’s mechanical engineering senior design class. The car never went to competition and weighed ~600 lbs w/ 50 hp.

The Historic Team (1997, 1998)

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Our first car. Triton Racing started with a Yamaha FZR 600 motorcycle engine and scored ~175 points in 1997 and  ~125 points in 1998.