What is Baja?
SAE Baja is a student competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Competition season comes towards the end of winter semester and into the summer. Each team competes with their new cars in a variety of dynamic events including an endurance race, maneuverability course, sled pull, hill climb, acceleration event, and more! Cars also compete in a variety of static events including design judging, sales presentation, cost report and others.
The Michigan Baja Race team is a student-run competition team housed within the College of Engineering. Every year we design and manufacture an entirely new off-road race vehicle from the ground up. Team members work in the Wilson Student Team Project Center to machine parts, fabricate molds and assemble the new car. If all goes well, we use the remainder of the semester to test and tune the car for the upcoming competitions.
The first day of competition consists of all the static events as well as a technical inspection. We compete in a sales presentation, cost audit, and a design presentation. In sales, we market our car to a series of industry judges as a highly specialized vehicle. In design, we present to technical judges all the design, research, and testing we have done throughout the year. During the technical inspection, a series of judges inspect every aspect of our car to make sure it meets competition rules and specifications.
On the second and third days of competition, we compete in a series of dynamic events. The second day consists of time trial events. These events are acceleration, hill climb or sled pull, maneuverability, and suspension and traction. Each event is designed to test individual components of the car. The final third day of competition is the endurance race. This is the highlight of the competition, as all the cars at the competition go wheel-to-wheel in a four-hour race. This event is the culmination of all the previous events and is worth the most points.
How to Join!
We are always looking for enthusiastic individuals who like to work hard and aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. We always have work around the shop and there is at least a few of us in the shop at any given time of day. So if you have any interest in cars, designing things, big machines, sparks, or fun, please swing by the Wilson Center (by the FXB and GFL buildings) and join us!