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Motorsports Vehicle Technology
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  Looking for an exciting career in the Motorsports Industry in Road Racing (IMSA, Grand-Am, SCCAPRO, NASA), Circle track (NASCAR, ARCA), Drag Racing (NHRA), drifting, or other professional motorsports series? Then, you are in the right place!

Our award winning program is located directly off I-985 at the Lanier Technical College Oakwood Campus just north of Atlanta, Georgia. Our location is at the center of the Southeast’s racing world, with world famous racetracks such as Road Atlanta, Gresham Motorsports Park, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Atlanta Dragway within minutes of our location. Many of the nation’s top level race teams are located in close proximity to our campus making internship and employment opportunities almost limitless no matter what form of motorsports interests you.

Our unique and innovative motorsports mechanic training program produces skilled and proficient graduates for entry level positions within local, regional and national race teams, race shops, and aftermarket suppliers in the Motorsports Industry.

Our program offers a blend of hands-on, trackside, and classroom training which prepares students to work in the challenging and rewarding fields of the Motorsport Industry. In our shop and classroom students learn all facets of racecar development including suspension set-up, fabrication, welding, machine tool, carbon fiber lay-up, engine builds and tuning, transmission and differential builds, general racecar repairs, testing procedures, racecar electronics, data acquisition, trackside procedures, and many other industry protocols. The MVT Program at Lanier Technical College accepts the HOPE Grant and the HOPE Scholarship plus other forms of financial aid.
 
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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.

How do I know which classes to take when?
Your first step should always be to see your advisor, but taking a look at these documents can help you plan for your advising appointment. The Motorsports Flow Chart lays out which courses are pre-requisites for others and in which semester you would typically take a particular course. The Motorsports Diploma Individual Plan and Motorsports Degree Individual Plan are checklists your advisor will use to plan out your pathway within the Motorsports program after you have been accepted.

Who will my instructors be?
Mike Schmidt - (Program Director) worked as a machinist, fabricator and technician in various facets of the motorsport industry ranging from Pro-Stock drag racing to custom car shop work as well as having previously worked as a machine tool instructor. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and technical diplomas in Motorsports Vehicle Technology and CNC Technology from Lanier Technical College.

Steve Koen, a graduate of the program, has worked in Grand-Am, SCCA, NASA, HSR, and NHRA building and supporting various types of racecars from historic NASCARs to sub 7 second drag cars. Steve specializes in fabrication techniques, electronics, drivetrain, and general race car preparation.

Luis Romo, a composite expert and car designer, has worked with Mazda, Panoz, Dodge and other automotive composite manufacturers producing carbon fiber and composite components and vehicles for the street, race cars, and prototypes.

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





    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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    2990 Landrum Education Drive, Oakwood, Georgia 30566
    Phone: 770-533-7000 | Fax: 770-531-6328
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