RIT Selected Host Site for 2005 Mini Baja East




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Rochester Institute of Technology will host the 2005 Mini Baja East—a three-day competition featuring student-driven all-terrain vehicles in thrilling, mud-churning contests.

Dozens of collegiate teams and hundreds of spectators from across the United States, Canada and South America are anticipated for the event, placing RIT and Greater Rochester in the spotlight, says Marty Gordon, RIT team advisor and associate professor of mechanical engineering technology in RIT's College of Applied Science and Technology.

“I think it's a great opportunity to showcase RIT and the Rochester area to students and visitors from around the country,” says Gordon, organizer of the event, along with Tom Locke, machine tool lab manager and RIT mini-Baja team co-advisor.

RIT will host the competition on May 5 in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center and May 6 and 7 at Hogback Hill Motocross track in Palmyra, Wayne County. All events are free and open to the public. An awards banquet will wrap up the event on May 7.

In addition to being another high-profile event during RIT's yearlong 175th anniversary celebration, the competition also promises to benefit the Rochester region by drawing at least 60 teams and as many as 1,000 spectators for the three-day competition.

The 2005 contest, coming during event sponsor SAE International's centennial year, marks the 30th anniversary of the Mini Baja East. RIT last hosted the competition in 1982.

RIT team sponsors include Mahany Welding Supply Co., Metalcenter Rochester Inc., Moog Inc. and Rochester Gear Inc. For information on becoming a sponsor, contact Alison Lamb at nosila4@hotmail.com.

2005 Mini Baja East Facts

Rochester Institute of Technology will host the 30th annual Mini Baja East, May 5-7, 2005, at RIT and Hogback Hill Motocross track in Palmyra, Wayne County.

  • May 5: Static events (design and cost report presentations), Gordon Field House and Activities Center, RIT campus
  • May 6-7: Dynamic (“action”) events, Hogback Hill Motocross track, Hogback Hill Road, Palmyra, Wayne County (directions available at http://www.palmyramx.com)
  • May 7: Awards banquet
  • Who can attend: Competitive events are free and open to the public. Approximately 60 teams and up to 1,000 spectators from across the United States, Canada and South America are expected to attend.
  • What's a mini-Baja? Mini-Bajas are single-driver, off-road, “dune-buggy-like” vehicles designed and built by students to withstand “severe punishment” and be “fun to drive” (an official requirement) in annual collegiate competitions featuring contests in acceleration, braking, hill climbing, land maneuverability, water maneuverability, pulling, top speed, traction, four-hour endurance race, and design and cost report presentations. Powered by 10-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engines, mini-Baja cars reach top speeds of about 40 miles per hour.
  • History of the Mini Baja East: Began at the University of South Carolina in 1976. RIT competed from 1980 until the early 1990s, capturing first place in 1981 and 1987. RIT rejoined the competition in 1997 and has participated every year since. RIT is one of few teams to annually compete in all three national competitions and has competed as the only team from the United States in the Mini Baja Brazil and South African Mini Baja. The 2005 Mini Baja East is the 30th annual competition. Next year also marks the 100th anniversary of event sponsor, the Society of Automotive Engineers.
  • Last time RIT hosted the Mini Baja East: 1982
  • RIT mini-Baja team advisors: Marty Gordon, an RIT professor, and Tom Locke, a lab manager
  • Mini Baja East sponsors: SAE International and Briggs & Stratton Corp. RIT team sponsors include Mahany Welding Supply Co., Metalcenter Rochester Inc., Moog Inc. and Rochester Gear Inc.
  • To become an RIT sponsor: Contact Alison Lamb at 585-506-7603 or nosila4@hotmail.com
  • Web sites: http://students.sae.org/competitions/minibaja/east and http://www.rit.edu/~bajawww/ourc