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Motorsports Vehicle Technology
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Frequently Asked Questions

When do you accept new Motorsports Vehicle Technology students into the program?
We accept new students into the Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program in both Fall and Spring Semesters. To apply, students must first apply to Lanier Technical College meeting all deadlines set by the admissions office. Prior to acceptance into the Motorsports program applicants must attend a mandatory motorsports information session scheduled with the Motorsports department, where they are required to complete a basic general automotive knowledge test to qualify for admittance into the Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program. Because Motorsports requires basic Automotive knowledge, if a student does not pass the basic skills exam they will be referred to the Automotive Technology program to successfully complete some basic training before attending the Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program.

Additional Information on the
Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program

Click (+) on the following topics for more information:
Significant Points [+]

  • The Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program is specifically designed to teach skills that lead to a career in the Motorsports Racing Industry and it is not a general automotive program. Correspondingly, the program requires that new students entering the program already have some basic automotive knowledge and experience at the outset. Prior to acceptance into the Motorsports program, applicants must attend a mandatory motorsports information session scheduled with the Motorsports department, where they are required to complete a basic general automotive knowledge test to qualify for admittance into the Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program. If a student does not pass the basic skills exam they will be referred to the Automotive Technology Program to successfully complete some basic training before attending the Motorsports Vehicle Technology Program.

  • Participation in two internships is mandatory. The first full time internship is based within a race team or at a race car manufacturer's facility. These internship sites are sometimes based out of state. The MVT program instructors will place students to fit the needs of both the student and the intern site. The second internship is arranged by the student. Often times, this leads to a full time position.




  • Program Instructors [+]

      Steve Koen  
      Motorsports Vehicle Technology
      Oakwood Campus
      skoen@laniertech.edu
      Phone: (770) 533-6988


      Michael Schmidt  
      MVT Program Director and Instructor
      Oakwood Campus
      mschmidt@laniertech.edu
      Phone: (770) 533-7027


      Michael Schmidt  
      MVT Instructor and Program Director
      Oakwood Campus
      mschmidt@laniertech.edu
      Phone: (770) 533-7027





    Nature of the Work [+]

    Occupations can include shop workers, mechanics, fabricators, machinists, painters, engine builders, transport drivers, pit workers, body hangers, transmission and differential builders and crew chiefs. A racing season starts around mid- February and continues until mid- November. During the season, crew workers perform regular maintenance and repairs to multiple cars for the next racing event, often with only 4 -5 days between races. Some of the duties the crew workers perform off the track are changing engines or drivetrain, analyzing data from acquisition software, changing shocks and springs, making chassis and body adjustments and repairs. On the track duties can consist of jack operator, tire changer, re-fueler, spotter, car chief, shock and suspension set up. During the off season the crew workers perform extensive maintenance, repair, planning, training, and special testing for the next season.




    Work Environment [+]

    Students learn to work in the fast paced environment of racing. Working in the shop also and at the race track is common. While good hands on skills are required, good appearances are necessary for support of high profile team sponsorships. It is quite common for a good team to find themselves in the media spotlight. It is also quite common for workers to work outside in varying weather conditions and climates. When preparing a car for racing, long work days and frequent weekend hours are typical. The reward, however, comes from having the car you helped prepare reach victory lane.




    Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement [+]

    Training -- Basic familiarity with how a vehicle operates is mandatory. Since internships are the most common way of entering the motorsports field, all students in the MVT program are required to complete 2 semesters of internships in addition to the regular in class and lab instruction.



    Certification and advancement. Certification and advancement -- Most workers in auto racing advance through on the job training and internships. Some workers can get opportunities through family- or friend-owned businesses and projects. Networking plays a major part in advancing in auto racing. Creating a good contact base with others in the industry is the best method of advancement. By starting at local tracks and working their way up to national venues, workers can expand their list of connections. Geographic location is a factor in auto racing, and achieving success may require relocating. In the case of NASCAR, for example, most team shops are located near Charlotte, North Carolina, so workers who want to rise to NASCAR ranks must live there. Road racing teams are scattered throughout the country and many drag racing teams are located in Indianapolis and the west coast.




    Job Outlook [+]

    Job prospects -- Racing in America has become a multi-billion dollar industry. NASCAR alone sanctions over 1500 races at over 100 tracks in North America. NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series generally harnesses an 8 million person audience on television, as well as sold-out crowds at many tracks that can hold up to 500,000 spectators. Making money in racing can be feast or famine with some part-time local teams racing for purses that barely cover their expenses, while professional teams get staggering sums that they supplement with income from product endorsements. Prominent professional teams usually have a contractual agreement with a sponsor or racing team owner, and the crew receives a percentage of the prize money. Top NASCAR drivers, for example, might receive between 40 and 50 percent of the purse, with team sponsors, owners, and members splitting the remainder.Once establishing an experience portfolio within a team and making use of positive networking, employment opportunities are available from a variety of race sanctioning bodies. NASCAR, NHRA drag racing, Grand Am, ALMS are just a few of the areas a student can find a lucrative and rewarding career. Qualified persons with an excellent work ethic and who are interested in this work should have little trouble finding and keeping a job. Different job descriptions within racing typically carry a specific salary range. Advancement and pay raises are often the result of team standings within a specific series.

    Read this article from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for more information on careers in motorsports: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2009/fall/art01.pdf.

    Employment change. Teams compete professionally in venues ranging from rural dirt tracks to modern speedways. With new types of fuels becomingly standard, racing will need to change how the cars perform with the new fuel. The old style race cars of the past are being replaced with more efficient and more technologically advanced machines. Rules are being changed to accommodate the new technology and race teams in all venues need to keep pace with the new challenges. Race teams are typically moving away from single skill specialists to multi skilled workers. Those skills could include mechanical ability, welding and fabrication, machining, and driving a tractor trailer for the team.



       
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    Phone: 770-533-7000 | Fax: 770-531-6328
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