On May 16, Texas A&M BAJA traveled to Gorman, California to compete against the best schools from around the world in a BAJA SAE International competition. The overall competition placement is based off the total accumulated points out of 1000 available. The 1000 points on offer come from a combination of dynamic and static events. Dynamic events include acceleration (75 points), maneuverability (75 points), suspension and traction (75 points), hill climb (75 points), and endurance (400 points). Static events include cost report (100 points), design presentation (150 points), and sales presentation (50 points). Overall, we accumulated 459.91 points to finish 52 out of 99 teams. While this isn’t exactly the result we were looking for overall, we did see a massive improvement in our static event scores over last year; finishing 9th overall in cost report, 17th overall in design presentation, and 16th overall in sales presentation.
Additionally, as per our team goals, we designed an endurance focused car as the endurance event has the highest amount of points on offer. After starting in the mid 50’s due to our acceleration placement, we quickly moved through the field and into the top 25 by the end of the first hour. With 3 hours left in the race, this was definitely a good sign. However, just 45 minutes later, we ran into trouble with our front suspension and spent around an hour and a half in the pits fixing our car, relegating Texas A&M to 65th overall.
Despite the setbacks we had in endurance, we are more than happy with our showing at BAJA California. The massive improvements in the static events proved we had a solid design philosophy and marketing campaign. The unpredictable and brutal nature of the dynamic events brought out some unknown weaknesses in our car that we are assessing for next year’s car. For such a young team, this competition was a huge learning experience that will prove invaluable for future teams.
We would like to thank all our sponsors, mentors, and professors who helped us make Texas A&M BAJA 2019 the phenomenal team that it is today. Without your help, competing in California would not have been an option.