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Baja racing team takes first place

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John Carberry
Cornell Baja racing vehicle
Cornell Baja
Brent Carlson '15 drives the Cornell Baja racing vehicle, ML09, during the Suspension and Traction event at the Baja SAE International Competition in Cookeville, Tenn.

The Cornell Baja SAE Racing Team brought home a first-place victory at the 2013 Baja SAE International Competition in Cookeville, Tenn., April 18-21.

The competition, hosted by Tennessee Tech University, had 100 collegiate teams design, build and race an off-road vehicle. The overall goal of the competition is to design a functional, durable, versatile and cost-effective vehicle that can be mass-produced by a fictitious firm.

In addition to taking first place overall, ML09, the team’s latest vehicle, was successful in all dynamic and static events, coming home with: second in Overall Design, second in Overall Dynamics, first in Suspension and Traction, first in Acceleration, fifth in Maneuverability and a perfect score on the cost report.

On the second day of racing, the endurance race portion of the competition, Cornell faced some technical challenges, including having to replace the front tie rod and dealing with fuel issues.

“We persevered, and through smart driving and quick pit stops, we received [credit for] a total of 21 endurance laps out of the 27 maximum completed by the endurance winners. We will be analyzing and correcting these issues within the next few weeks as we prepare for our next competition,” said business team leader Lauryn Berretta ’13.

The 35-member Cornell team, consisting mostly of mechanical engineers, has been researching, designing and building ML09 since last summer.

The team’s final competition of the year will be June 6-9 in Rochester. Their twitter – @CUBaja – will be updated with progress before and during the event. More information and a list of the team’s past accomplishments, which include two other first-place finishes since 2010, can be found on the website.

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