Formula SAE receives $25,000 gift from local business owners

January 22, 2024 - by Kim Delker

photo: 2023 FSAE team

The Formula Society of Automotive Engineering (FSAE) program at The University of New Mexico has recently received a large donation from prominent local restaurant owners.

The $25,000 gift, from Dorothy and Larry Rainosek, will go toward the general operations of the FSAE electric car, said John Russell, director of the FSAE LoboMotorsports program and a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Russell said that Rainoseks became interested in supporting FSAE after seeing a Lobo Living Room presentation about the program in 2023. They also attended the tour of the Dana C. Wood FSAE Racing Lab and Garage after the presentation. Russell said he also invited the couple to a driving day (where supporters get a chance to drive one of the cars around a track), where the Rainoseks learned more about the program and talked to the students. Soon, they made the decision to sponsor FSAE.

Russell said half of the donation will go toward the 2024 team car build and competition, and the other half would go to the capital equipment fund.

The Rainoseks, who own the Frontier Restaurant and Golden Pride, are major supporters of UNM. They received honorary doctorates from UNM in 2013.

UNM’s FSAE program is funded almost entirely through private donations. Contributions can be made online.