Junior Rob Radmann has the need for speed. The mechanical engineering major has been around racing ever since he was young, as his father—an MSOE alumnus—raced dirt bikes and a Mazda Miata.
“I went to the track with him every weekend and was instantly hooked,” said Radmann. “My dad wanted to put me in the driver's seat as soon as possible, so we found out how to start racing go-karts, and the rest is history.”
Radmann got his racing competition license when he was 14 years old and has been racing ever since. He currently races in the Formula Atlantic class in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This class of cars reach top speeds of 170 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest open-wheel cars.
“While many of these cars were built in the late 1990's and early 2000's, most of them that race today have been updated with state-of-the-art computer and data systems that are comparable with the current IndyCar systems. These cars may only have anywhere between 240-300 horsepower, but they only weigh around 1,300 pounds, so they are very agile through the corners.”
Other than Formula Atlantic, Radmann has raced in the Formula Continental, Formula Ford and Formula Vee classes of open wheel. He has also driven historic Trans Am cars, BMW’s, Corvettes, classic Ford Fiestas and Stadium Super Trucks.
Radmann races around the United States but for him, his favorite place to race is close to home.
“I've been to many of the largest North American road racing tracks, but my favorite is still Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. This is the track where I grew up watching my heroes race, and it's still surreal that I get to race there too.”
Some of Radmann’s racing accomplishments include winning the 2020 Midwestern Council Formula Atlantic Championship, the 2019 WeatherTech International Challenge, and winning several SCCA Formula Atlantic races in 2021, 2022 and 2023. He was also nominated for the 2019 Lucas Oil School of Racing Shootout at Sebring International Raceway. Radmann still has one large racing goal that he hopes to achieve.
“My biggest racing goal is to win the 24 Hours of Daytona at the Daytona International Speedway. This is a 24-hour endurance race where a team of drivers switch out driving the car all day and all night. I've always loved endurance racing, and this race is the pinnacle of endurance racing in the United States.”
His education at MSOE is something that has helped him with his passion for racing.
“To become a better race car driver, I needed a better understanding of the engineering behind the race car itself, and a mechanical engineering degree has helped me with that.”
Radmann’s dream career would be a way to combine racing and mechanical engineering through designing parts for high-performance vehicles or race cars and then test driving those vehicles.