Baja East Competition Storms into Rochester in June

Get a first look at RIT’s Baja vehicle at unveiling event March 20

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Marty Gordon

RIT Baja teams have been successful over their many years in worldwide competitions, winning individual events and teamwork awards.

Mini-Baja returns to Rochester—and even before the engines rev up and the mud flies, fans will be able to get a first look at the 2010 version of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Baja car.

Members of the team will unveil the Baja off-road vehicle 2-4 p.m. March 20 in front of the Louise M. Slaughter Building at RIT. The event is free and open to the public.

Team members will be on hand to discuss the car’s newest designs and the upcoming season in which they will compete at meets in South Carolina, Washington and Rochester. For the third time, Rochester will be home to Baja East, one of the main competitions in the season, and RIT will be the home team for the Rochester Wet World Challenge, June 10-12 at RIT’s Gordon Field House and at Hogback MX in Palmyra.

The first Baja event was held in 1976 with 10 college teams competing. More than 30 years later, more than 100 colleges and universities from around the world participate.

As one of the top college teams in the country, the RIT team has high expectations for the new season, says manager, Nick Liotta, a third-year electrical engineering student. “We have a great car and a very competitive group.”

More than 25 RIT students from different colleges make up the team. “This group is beyond the stereotypes, it’s more than mechanical engineers,” Liotta says. He adds that engineering technology students as well as those from imaging arts and marketing programs also participate to build the off-road vehicle in preparation for event challenges over rough terrain, obstacles and waterways.

WHAT: Unveiling of 2010 RIT Baja Off-Road Vehicle

WHEN: 2-4 p.m. March 20

WHERE: Louise M. Slaughter Building, Rochester Institute of Technology