Baja was back in Rochester and off-road race teams braved the elements, hills, rocks and water at the 2010 Baja SAE Rochester World Challenge June 11-13. Cornell University won the overall championship, and host team Rochester Institute of Technology had its two cars place third and tenth overall.
For three days, 89 collegiate design teams from the United States, Canada, South Korea, India, France and Venezuela participated in hill climbs, chain pulls, suspension and traction tests, all culminating in a four-hour endurance event through the land course and water obstacle.
“It was a remarkable event, from start to finish,” said Sam Barill, manager of collegiate programs, SAE International. The Society of Automotive Engineers organization sponsors national and international student engineering design events such as the Rochester Challenge.
Barill praised the RIT planning committee for a strong, well-planned event and very tough field course. This is the third time RIT has hosted one of the major U.S. events.
“I love the sound of hundreds engines revving up,” stated Ryan Hurley, RIT Baja team member, at the start of the endurance final. “This event was awesome.” Teammate Matt Maccione, driving the #83 car, led for most of the endurance race followed by the second RIT car, driven by Nick Liotta. Canadian teams from the University of Windsor, University of Laval and Ecole de Technologie Superieure made a strong showing in the endurance final and dynamic events.
For several of the teams, including Cornell, this was the first time competing in the water challenge. “We had been working especially hard on research, design and testing of our flotation and propulsion systems to get up to speed with teams that have been floating for years,” says Andrew Cypher, co-team leader for Cornell University. The Big Red Racing team placed third in the event.
One of the final awards given, The Determination Award, went to Troy Page and James Coleman. While most crews average 15 members, the two-man team from James Madison University in Virginia, alternated driving responsibilities for all events throughout the weekend.
“We practiced at the lake near school,” said Page, an industrial design student at the college, “and we figured, ‘hey, the car floats, let’s go.”
Overall Performance -
1st place — Cornell University #10 car
2nd place — University of Windsor #60
3rd place — Rochester Institute of Technology #5 car
Individual Event – First Place Finishers
Design Report — Michigan Tech
Cost Award — University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Events — Cornell University
Hill Climb — University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Acceleration — University of Wisconsin, Madison
Land Maneuverability — University of Laval (Canada)
Water Maneuverability — Memorial University of Newfoundland
Suspension — University of Laval
Endurance — Rochester Institute of Technology #83 car
Teamwork — Michigan Tech
Rookie Team Award — Memorial University of Newfoundland