The Clarkson Baja SAE team recently completed its 43rd year in existence with its best showing since 2006. The team placed 3rd overall at the Louisville Kentucky Baja SAE race in May and 15th overall at the Tucson Arizona Baja SAE race in April. The Louisville race hosted 58 Baja teams from across the United States.
Baja SAE consists of two US regional competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain, water and mud. The object of the competition is to provide students with a challenging project that involves the planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.
This year the Clarkson Baja team entered the Baja Louisville and Arizona races with its first-ever custom-designed and manufactured All-Wheel drive transmission. Most Baja cars are two-wheel drive and SAE offered bonus points in 2021 to teams that entered races with functional all-wheel-drive systems. At the Arizona race, the team placed 4th in Acceleration but experienced some issues due to lack of testing prior to the April event. The team was 15th in Endurance and finished 14th overall.
At the Louisville race, the team got the issues that they experienced in Arizona worked out and enhanced their scores with strong finishes in all of the dynamic events. They broke the top ten for the second time since 2006 and finished 3rd overall. The team placed 10th in Acceleration, 10th in Steering / Maneuverability, 12th in Endurance, 3rd in Hill Climb and tied for 5th in the Suspension event. The team is made up of 15 students from various majors.