Your gifts keep the Mini Baja Team competitive…and flexible.

The RIT Mini Baja team showed its creativity and determination at the SAE Baja Brazil competition in March.

Gifts to RIT’s Mini Baja Team help this group of determined students compete and WIN around the globe. Knowing they can focus on design, construction, and competition points is critical when the rubber hits the road.

The value of support was clear this season when bureaucratic red tape and errors in critical shipping documentation left the team stranded at the Brazil competition without its car.

“Brazil is one of the hardest countries in the world to import anything into,” said Marty Gordon, team adviser and associate professor of manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology. It would have cost close to $60,000 in fines and storage fees to bring the car into the country and they still wouldn’t have had the car in time for the competition.

“So we said, ship it back to the U.S. and we’ll build a new car in three or four days,” he added laughing. What began as a jest took more serious form as the seven team members pieced together a plan, and eventually a makeshift vehicle with parts, gears and equipment scavenged from five Brazillian teams.

“We wanted to try everything possible before giving up, before going back,” said Taylor Clow, a second-year industrial design student and team member. “The most eye-opening aspect of this entire situation is being on the receiving end of a lot of support. It was awesome to see all of the Brazilian teams stepping up and giving us everything and anything we needed.”

That level of support is also clear to the team each year as alumni, parents, and industry advocates provide the funding needed for equipment, parts, and travel expenses.

Read more of the Mini Baja Team’s story »