One hundred collegiate race car teams from around the world will converge on Rochester Institute of Technology for Baja SAE Rochester, one of the Society of Automotive Engineers major events, taking place June 6-9.
Teams from universities in the U.S. as well as Canada, India, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela will compete for the Mike Schmidt Iron Team Trophy, an award given to the overall season champion. More than 1,300 student-engineers who designed and built off-road vehicles are expected for the event that will consist of hill and rock climbs, acceleration and maneuverability challenges and a four-hour endurance race.
“The Rochester race is known to be one of the top college design series events. It happens every three years here, and it’s a blast,” said Martin Gordon, event organizer and faculty adviser for RIT Baja. He also serves as professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering technology in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology.
RIT entered the 2019 season as defending champions.
Following up the championship will be a challenge as RIT faces competition from teams from Cornell University and the University of Michigan, University of Oregon and University of Nebraska. Additionally, competitors from Canada including Ecole de Technologie Superieure (Quebec) and Venezuela’s Universidad Simon Bolivar have all been past event and season champions.
“These are historically strong teams, but we are also seeing newer teams challenging more at competitions over the past few years,” said Christopher Mehalakes, RIT Baja team manager and a fifth-year mechanical engineering technology student from Laurel, “We love seeing that, and it’s what we all want in these competitions.”