For Nolan Allaer, a 3rd generation competitive driver, being passionate about racing is a family tradition. Nolan's grandfather started racing at a young age, and his father started racing when Nolan was young. Nolan spent time with his father on the track, which eventually led Nolan to start go-karting. He started competitive karting in 2008, and ended in 2011 when he made the decision to quit (he decided he'd rather try hockey.)
However, this was not the end of Nolan’s racing career. During COVID, while still in high school, Nolan started simulation or "sim racing:" virtual racing using simulation software. Nolan's success in sim racing earned him the opportunity to drive his father’s car at an SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) driver's school. Through this opportunity, he was able to get on the track — where he was two tenths off of his fathers track record — and receive his racing license. What started as a one time opportunity to receive his license turned into a passion that would take Nolan across the pond to the UK.
But first, Miami. Nolan's first year at Miami was online due to the pandemic. But, he shared, “with online education at the time, it was really easy to be on the track with asynchronous education.” In fact, Nolan was able to complete a full season of SCCA national racing and compete in the SCCA runoffs — where he finished third — all while maintaining his status as an active Miami CEC student.
The runoffs were a ten-day event, and thanks to his professors being able to accommodate him being at the race for that long, he was able to sign his first professional contract. “They were just so great to let me go and do this event that ended up propelling my career,” Nolan said. His contract was to race at the F1600 SCCA Pro Series throughout 2022, while still attending Miami University. Nolan won his first SCCA National Championship in Formula Continental (FC) in 2022 as a full-time Miami student, and placed 3rd in Formula Ford (FF) on the same weekend.
During the 2023 season, Nolan was able to set up a co-op for himself and his team, and raced the BRSCC Formula Ford National Championship in the UK as part of that experience. In this way, Nolan was able to use the mechanical engineering skills he's learned at Miami into his career on the track. The 2023 season was another successful one for Nolan. He and his team completed the SCCA National Championship Runoffs again in both FC (Formula Continental) and FF (Formula Ford) and won both championships.
Because racing vehicles are extremely complicated, and feedback from the driver to the engineers is crucial, Nolan is grateful for what he's learned so far at Miami CEC. Not only is Nolan able to effectively communicate as a driver to his team, but, he said, “with my background in mechanical engineering, I understand some of the principles and the practices that they use in their problem-solving methods.”
Nolan’s 2024 is looking especially bright. He’s returning to Miami University for the Spring 2024 semester to continue his education in person, on campus. “I definitely think about Miami and I miss the environment of being a student there and being on campus and being in the classrooms,” he said. “It's just a great environment for the student-to-teacher ratio. I was able to build those personal connections with my teachers which enabled me to continue racing while being a student.” And in breaking news just announced this week, Nolan has signed with HMD Motorsports for the 2024 IndyNXT season. Keep an eye out for Nolan at local races at Mid-Ohio and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as races across the United States!