Gearheads never forget their early roots, dark garages filled with tools, parts, exhaust fumes and that dream car they just knew they could restore. So it’s no surprise that fellow motor heads from the Mid-America Packards and our SCE Baja Buggy team enjoy getting together to share ideas about how to “tweak” the Baja so it will “blow the competition’s doors off” at SAE buggy races. The article and pictures on page 4 of the Mid-America’s Packards newsletter, The Data Plate, makes it clear that the team appreciates the mentorship, encouragement and support!
The UMKC SCE student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja Buggy Team hosted the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) first annual Mid-America Packards Car Show from 9 am – 2 pm on Wednesday, April 11, on the Quad at UMKC. Students, faculty, staff and visitors enjoyed getting their pictures taken with the vehicles and learning about Packard features our modern cars no longer provide such as storage areas specifically for top hats and golf clubs and front passenger seats able to handle a lady’s hooped opera skirt. Last year’s Baja Buggy was proudly displayed alongside its Packard friends.
Dr. Steve Christy, past director of Mid-America Packards and current secretary of the International Packards Club, worked with Mid-America Packards officers Tom Norman and Jon Root and former director Glenn Dooley to set up UMKC’s first annual Baja Packards show, a fundraiser for the UMKC SCE Baja Buggy Builders. Thanks to Dr. Christy’s efforts, space has reserved for an article in the 4-color International Packard publication. UMKC SAE’s student chapter President Oscar Vallencillos and Vice President Jesus Zamarripa-Ortega worked closely with the Mid-America Packards club, helping to make the show a great success! UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering thanks the Mid-America Packards for their support and look forward to the next Packard car show at UMKC!
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!
The UMKC Baja Team ranked 39th overall at the Baja SAE Carolina competition held on April 8-11, 2010 and 24th overall at the Baja SAE Western Washington competition held on May 18-22, 2010. Impressively, the team also placed 1st in the Written Report category. The Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Collegiate Design Competitions include static events (written reports and oral presentations regarding engineering design and project costs) and dynamic events (racing factors, such as acceleration, towing, traction, maneuverability and endurance). The faculty advisor is Professor Mike Carlson.