Some of the world’s best engineering students will descend onto campus for 2013 SAE Baja Rochester World Challenge, the international off-road competition that starts this Friday, June 7, at the Gordon Field House.
We’re expecting nearly 100 collegiate Baja racing teams—including teams from Clarkson, SUNY Buffalo and Cornell along with the University of Michigan, Purdue and the University of Calgary, just to name a few.
Drop by the field house between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday to meet the teams, see the cars and listen in on design presentations. Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, events move to Hogback Hill Motocross Course in Palmyra.
RIT and the RIT Baja Racing Team have hosted the SAE East competition several times over its 20-year history. Ask any one of the friendly competitors in the next few days and they’ll tell you they enjoy being here, the facilities are first class, the course is a major challenge, and the student-engineers on our team extend a welcome second-to-none.
Behind the scenes, Baja cars and teams that arrive early have often come the farthest. Three teams from Brazil, one from Venezuela and another from Puerto Rico arrived in the past week, and their cars have been temporarily housed in bays in CIMS.
While teams go head-to-head during the competition, they are allies and peers in the machine shop. There, along with RIT Baja team members, teams reassemble cars, sometimes fixing or enhancing parts in the machine shop alongside guys (and gals) they’ll drive against over the weekend.
The field house is ideal for the opening day of safety checks, technical discussions and team presentations about what it takes to build an off-road vehicle. That preparation and commitment is put to the test over the next two days out at Hogback Hill Motocross Course in Palmyra.
Over hills and obstacles, through suspension challenges, tractor pulls and endurance races, it’s a pretty awesome display of great driving and young people with skills and nerves of steel.
Check out a gallery of photos by UNS photographer A. Sue Weisler from the 2010 competition, the last time RIT hosted teams for the Baja World Challenge.