On May 26th SCE students travelled to Pittsburg, KS to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Buggy competition in which 106 teams, including several international teams and one all-female team competed. Our team included Jesus Zamarripa, Oscar Vallecillos, Brian Huff, Alireza Farahani, Isaac Chleborad, Dwayne Dsouza and Francisco Garcia-Moreno. Several students volunteered their time and efforts toward helping SCE with their buggy and the competition. SCE alumni were also in attendance to support the team. Governor Sam Brownback stopped to witness the event and wish the contestants well.
The competition included design judging, performance testing, and culminated May 29th with the aptly named Endurance Race where going the distance means a lot more than just having enough fuel. The brutal course is designed to push the limits of the equipment and find any shortcomings in design, construction, and materials. The UMKC team placed 58th out of 106 total entries, showing just how tough the competition is. For the first time a Baja Buggy event was streamed live online and many videos of the event can be found on the Pitt State YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/pittsburgstate.
Following the competition several teams, including our UMKC SCE Baja Buggy team, were invited to bring their buggy and attend the NASCAR races at the Kansas Speedway on June 4th and 5th. Team members had a great time and were able to promote UMKC via the buggy. The team hopes to be invited again to a future event!