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July 30, 2010

UMBC Baja racing team is overall leader in U.S. after 2010 Baja SAE season

Anthony Lane
Communications Manager
(410) 455-5793

UMBC’s Baja racing team claimed top honors in the United States for its performance in the three North American Baja SAE events held in 2010.

That result marked the highpoint of a season that also saw the team receive recognition for being the lowest cost entry at each event.

“We are extremely proud of UMBC’s Baja team for showing how technical knowledge, hard work, innovation and team work can lead to success in addressing a complex engineering challenge,” said Warren DeVries, dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology.

Teams competing in Baja SAE events must design, build and drive off-road racing vehicles that are judged in multiple design and performance categories. Close to 100 teams competed in each of the regional events in 2010, with about 10 traveling to all of them.

The Mike Schmidt Memorial Iron Team Award, awarded to the team with the top cumulative score from the three races, went to Ecole De Technologie Superieure, an engineering school in Montreal. UMBC came in second, and Universite Laval in Quebec was third. Other universities with teams that competed in all three races included Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of South Florida and Michigan State University.

Though UMBC has participated in Baja SAE events for years, 2010 was the first year the team entered all three regional events. Steve Storck, captain of the team of 11 engineering students, said the group’s work amounted to building a car from scratch.

“It’s really nice to realize your design and have all the hard work pay off,” said Storck, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

One member of the team, Sam Markkula, has graduated and is now working for Lockheed Martin. Other members – James Clerkin, Rich Glendening, Chuck Hebert, Justin Jones, Pete Mech, Eric Meyer, Sal Nimer, Dave Outen and Caroline Scheck – are all continuing undergraduate and graduate studies at UMBC.

According to the rules, the team must redesign 30 percent of its car to compete again in 2011. Storck says work has already started to go far beyond that with a completely new design: “We hope to do even better next year.”


Posted by alane at July 30, 2010 11:02 AM