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Haas and car racing, a marriage lasting already 20 years


The start of the Formula One season this spring will be a lot more exciting for the Haas family than it normally is. For the first time in 30 years an American racing team tries its hand at Formula 1, that team is Haas F1. With Romain Grosjean it contracted a driver with a wealth of Formula 1 experience. The second driver, Esteban Guttierez drove Formula 1 at Sauber for two years and was the third driver and test driver for Scuderia Ferrari last season.

However, the love affair between Haas and car racing goes back more than 20 years. It started when Haas got its name and logo on a car of the Geoff Bodine Racing Team in 1993 in return for the use of a milling machine. Haas has been involved in racing ever since, in the first few years as a sponsor and since 2003 as a NASCAR team owner. The Stewart-Haas team has been very successful in the last few years, winning 2 out of the last 5 most recent Sprint Cup chamionship. Having conquered NASCAR, Gene Haas’ racing ambition needed a new outlet and that’s where the F1 idea got started.

Haas Automation Europe is also involved in supporting racing at the grassroots level. In 2015 it was a sponsor of four racing teams connected educational organizations.


Formula Electric Belgium is connected to the University of Leuven and Thomas More College. They take part in the Formula Student Competition with a fully electric car that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 2,7 seconds. They took part in races in, amongst others, Silverstone and Hockenheim. Parts for their car for the 2016 season will be milled on a Haas machine at the local HTEC TSM in Mechelen.

Another team Haas sponsors is Team H2politO, connected to the University of Torino in Italy. They took part in the Shell Eco-marathon, ranking sixth with their hydrogen powered prototype car.


The UOP racing team from the University of Patras in Greece designed a car that weighs 20% less than its predecessor and is 50% more efficient in aerodynamics. Good results on and off the track alerted 4Troxoi, Greece’s largest automotive magazine and they became a front-cover story.


The Punch Powertrain Solar Team is connected to the KUL every year builds a car that runs on solar power to take part in the yearly World Solar Challenge, a race that sees participants travel 3000 kilometers from Darwin in the north of Australia to Adelaide in the North. After a fabulous second place in 2014, they fell back to an impressive 5th place in 2015, leaving teams from MIT and Stanford trailing in the dust.