Brazilian Team Wins Close Victory at SAE Midwest Mini Baja Competition

Lake Mills WI, (June 11, 2004) - One-Hundred-Twenty-One (121) collegiate teams competed in the SAE 2004 Midwest Mini Baja Competition held last weekend in southern Wisconsin. The top ten overall winners, determined by total points, included two Canadian squads and two teams from South America: one from Argentina and the other from Brazil.

During the 4-day competition, points were awarded for vehicle design, cost analysis, static display, dynamic testing, and performance over a rugged endurance course. At the conclusion of the event, a team sponsored by SAE Brazil was declared the overall winner. It was a close victory in that only 6 points separated the top 3 teams. The top ten overall teams and their point totals are as follows:

RankUniversity Team#LocationPoints
1SAE Brazil7Brazil872
2University of Akron33Akron, OH868
3Auburn University12Auburn, AL866
4University of South Florida10Tampa, FL860
5Ecole de Technologie Superieure8Quebec, Canada823
6University of Michigan-Dearborn3Dearborn, MI812
7Instituto Technologico de Buenos Aires2Argentina812
8Northeastern University118Boston, MA798
9Rochester Institute of Technology44Rochester, NY796
10Queen's University37Ontario, Canada779

The top three overall teams received the Briggs and Stratton Overall Performance Award. Additional Awards were presented as follows:

Honda R&D Americas Engineering Design Award - Top 3 mechanical design scores: Ecole de Technologie Superieure (1st); Oregon State University (2nd); Instituto Technologico de Buenos Aires (3rd).

Honda R&D Americas Endurance Award - Top 3 finishers in the endurance event: Auburn University (1st); University of South Florida (2nd); University of Akron (3rd)

Polaris Innovative Suspension Award - Most innovative and unconventional suspension design: Purdue University.

TARDEC (Tank and Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center) Award - Outstanding display of off-road mobility platforms in small vehicles: Ecole de Technologie Superieure.

SAE Marv Pifis Sportsmanship Award: Queens University.

The competition was the final of 3-Mini Baja competitions held this year in North America as part of the SAE Collegiate Design Series. To honor the hard work and dedication of teams that participated in all 3 events, a special award - The Mike Schmidt Memorial Mini Baja Iron Team Award - was presented to the top three teams with the highest combined point totals from these events: University of South Florida (1st); Rochester Institute of Technology (2nd); Queens University (3rd).

University of South Florida Team Captain, Kevin Edwards, acknowledged the spirit of the competition. "We traveled directly from Mini Baja West in Portland, OR to Canada for Mini Baja East. What made this possible was that Queens University took us in, helped us with a place to stay, and let us use their shop for 3 days. They are a big competitor of ours, but that is what's best about Baja - competitors helping each other out."

In their 2nd place finish at the Midwest Mini Baja, University of Akron Team Captain, John Gibbs, credited their performance with having the team car completed early. "I love this competition. Everyone did their job and pulled together. We were done earlier this year (than in the past) and had more testing time with the car. We incorporated some design changes and are very happy with the results we've achieved!"

After winning the endurance event, Auburn Team Captain, Taylor Owens, remarked: "There were a lot of competitive cars here today and this was a tough run. We are really pleased with our car's setup and our team has been pretty upbeat. We have really enjoyed this competition."

The SAE Collegiate Design Series is designed to provide hands-on learning by applying engineering and design theories to real-world application. For more information regarding these competitions, please visit www.sae.org and click on the student tab.