UMKC Baja Buggy Team Comes Home Ready to Burn Rubber Next Year


The UMKC Baja Buggy Team proudly took “The Duke” on the road to the April 18-21 Baja SAE Tennessee Tech and June 6-9 Baja SAE Rochester racing competitions. Our UMKC Baja team finished in the top 50 of the endurance race at Rochester and were especially proud that the buggy remained in working order over the 4 hour course. Drivers for the Rochester competition were: 1) John Smith for the Acceleration event; 2) Jared Kleinowski for the Hill Climb event; 3) Michael Snowden for the Maneuverability event; 4) Cody Wallingford for the Suspension and Traction event; and 5) Cody Wallingford and Levon Pogosov for the Endurance Event.

Sponsored by the Society of American Automotive Engineers (SAE), these competitions test and measure the acceleration, hill climb ability, maneuverability, suspension, traction and endurance of the vehicles entered in the competition. At Rochester, 100 teams from across the country and all over the world came to compete. Our UMKC team spends days driving themselves and the buggy to the competitions and then competing once there. Katherine Bloemker, the UMKC Baja Buggy team faculty advisor, traveled with the team to the Rochester competition.

Returning home with many lessons learned from their experiences on the Baja Buggy racing circuit, the 2013-2014 Baja team has already begun to discuss next year’s goals and designs as most of the team members are now juniors. They plan to continue working together throughout the summer and into the fall on the research, design and organization in order to produce a more competitive car. The goal is to solidify the design and have most of it modeled before school starts in the fall. In prior years, the team did not begin work until the end of September. Almost all of the fabrications, construction, and assembly to build each year’s buggy is done on campus in the Old Maintenance Building. The team has utilized some of the resources available at MCC’s Business and Technology Campus (BTC) and hopes to use them even more in the future. The design and modeling is done primarily in the computer labs in Flarisheim Hall and the team’s office in the Old Maintenance Building. UMKC SCE looks forward to hearing about next year’s Baja Buggy adventures!

Photo above from left to right: Baja team members Cody Wallingford, Michael Snowden, Jared Kleinowski, Peter Chen, John Smith, Levon Pogosov, and Aaron Bentley at the Baja SAE Rochester competition. Bryon Devlin was at Rochester competition but is not in picture. Baja team members Aaron Dorsett, Jake Nolting, Michael Pickert, Matt Summa and Dana Ulmo were unable to go to the competition.


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