Lighter and faster, the Carleton University Ravens racing team’s 2010 race car is more likely to go the distance for its young designers than in the past.

The team unveiled its entry for the 2010 Formula SAE competition yesterday.

The design and construction of the car is part of the fourth-year engineering curriculum that sees students build a race car off the previous year’s design.

“Ultimately, we would love to win the competition,” said driver Mike Behring. “But our big goal this year is to place top 10.”

In previous years, the Carleton car has failed to finish the endurance race, leading this year’s team to focus on testing.

“We are attempting to close the design loop,” said Pat Troy, engine and electronic specialist.

“We designed the car based on principles ... We are definitely expecting to finish this year.”

Along with the renewed emphasis on testing, this year’s team shaved 10 pounds off the 2009 entry, giving the lighter car a powerful advantage.

“We are in the process of phasing out the steel and moving towards carbon fibre,” said team member Jossip Deronja. “You always strive to have something more lightweight.”

The team also used the unveiling to announce that it had designed a hybrid car for next year’s engineers to build.

“The industry is shifting towards hybrids. We are just trying to keep up,” said Behring.

The Formula SAE is the largest post-secondary engineering competition in the world, with more than 120 schools from all over the world participating. This is Carleton’s 11th straight year participating in the competition.