Lipscomb’s engineering college ended its Day of Giving with the second annual Rocket Car Rally.

The first rally was in 2007, but the event took an extended hiatus, before reemerging last year. The tournament consisted of nine teams with 18 students participating. 

The event was put on by the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering and was spearheaded by Dr. Fort Gwinn Jr., associate dean. It was Gwinn who revitalized the event last year. 

“This year worked great,” Gwinn said, after this year’s Feb. 22 event, held in a parking garage. “It usually works better outside, but it was still good!” 

Originally meant to take place out front of the Fields Engineering Center, the event was moved under the cover of the nearby parking garage because of inclement weather.

“The timing device made a big difference,” he said. “It eliminates any disputes, and it really made all the difference in the world.” 

Teams were instructed to pick team names and then begin making and decorating small cars to race during the rally that was a part of the Day of Giving celebration. The tournament worked through a bracket system until one car was awarded the grand prize. 

The event started strong as the eight teams went up against each other, and a surprising underdog arose in the form of Team Vector. Katie Kirby and Emilia Hook, both mechanical engineering majors, came out on top, winning their first bracket. 

“Well, we won our first round and we were not expecting to,” Hook said. “Usually the lighter car wins and ours is pretty heavy, but luckily that was not the deciding factor here!”

As the event continued, the list of competitors began to dwindle until only two teams remained. The final heat took place between Team 208 and Team TBD, and after a close race, the title of Rocket Car Rally champion went to Team TBD. 

The night ended with an awards ceremony that included recognition for fastest car and best design, which was given to Team Vector for their Despicable Me-themed car. 

And it’s not going to go on hiatus, Gwinn said.

“We will be back next year to do it again, it’s always a lot of fun.” 

Photo via @lipscomb on Twitter

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