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RIT hosts 2005 Mini Baja East competition May 5

RIT will welcome approximately 60 collegiate teams and hundreds of spectators from across the United States, Canada and South America for three days of competition featuring all-terrain vehicles in thrilling, mud-churning contests.

RIT’s Mini Baja team tests one of the student-built vehicles.

The 2005 Mini Baja East competition gets underway May 5 in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center and continues May 6 and 7 at Hogback Hill Motocross track in Palmyra, N.Y. All events are free and open to the public. An awards banquet will wrap up the event on May 7.

The competition involves “Mini Baja” vehicles – single-driver, off-road, “dune-buggy-type” vehicles designed and built by students to withstand “severe punishment” and be “fun to drive” (an official requirement). The vehicles compete 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.

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

For more information, go to www.rit.edu/~baja www/ourc. For directions to Hogback Hill Motocross track, go to www.palmyramx.com.

Micheal Saffran