So, what is Baja SAE? Well, SAE stands for “Society of Automotive Engineers”, the organization that hosts the event and sends several top automotive and motorsports engineers to judge the competition. The name “Baja” comes from the famous “Baja 1000”, an 800-mile off-road race that takes place in Mexico’s Baja peninsula. This race goes across high dunes, rocky paths, and land that would be impossible for any ordinary vehicle to navigate.
Our objective in this competition is to engineer and build a small, fully functioning, one-passenger baja-style car that is able to take on rough terrain and meet many specifications put forth by the SAE. The job of the team is not only to build this car, but to engineer, document, and create it in the most cost-effective way possible.
The team will be traveling to Pittsburg, Kansas in the middle of May to compete with the completed vehicle against many other much larger engineering schools. The events will judge the car’s engineered quality and cost-effectiveness, along with its build-quality in a series of high-stakes events such as an endurance event and a maneuverability test.
LeTourneau has a history of success with Baja SAE, with several Top-20 finishes in the last decade. Last year was the first year competing after LeTourneau’s “Renegade Racing” took a year off. Using the valuable information gained by last year’s team, we are ready to hit the ground running with our eyes set on a top-5 finish in this year’s event.
In order to take on this enormous project, the team is hoping to raise over $10,000 for this year’s competition. The combination of building the car and sending the whole team to competition provides a steep price tag. However, we know that the generosity of our alumni, family, friends, and supporters will help us achieve a top-5 finish!