MSOE’s SAE Baja team attended the UW Stout Backwoods Baja event in Eau Galle, Wisconsin on Oct. 22 where they competed against 14 other teams with a total of 31 cars. The event consisted of three competitions: the car carry, sprint race, and a four-hour endurance race. 

The car carry required the team to remove the wheels from their car, lift the vehicle and carry it 20 yards into the approved area and reinstall the wheels. MSOE took sixth in this event. The second event was the sprint race. MSOE took sixth place in this four-lap race around the circuit. The final and main event was the four-hour endurance race. The goal of this event was to complete as many laps as possible within the four-hour time frame. MSOE chose to have four drivers for this event—a strategy that proved to serve them well.

“We held fourth place throughout the day out of 31 cars. We were forced to retire from the race 20 minutes early due to an unfortunate mechanical breakdown, however we had done enough laps to end with a seventh-place finish,” said Camden Ellingsen, mechanical engineering student and Baja SAE sponsorship coordinator.

Their key to success was creating a reliable vehicle. “The biggest reward for our team was showing the importance of reliability. We don’t have to make the fastest car if we can make a car that is hard to break,” said Ellingsen.

The SAE Baja team is made up of nearly 20 individuals and advised by Dr. Nebojsa Sebastijanovic, Mechanical Engineering Department. The team is always accepting new members, and everyone is welcome to join.

“My favorite part about Baja is that it’s easy to get involved in something,” said Ellingsen. “The club is always working on a part of the car or working to get sponsors, and anyone can come in and work on the car whenever they have free time. Right now, we are building an entirely new car, so we have some freshmen working on making body panels and other members are working on incorporating new technologies into the car that we have never had, such as on-board lap-timing instruments and a driver focused dash panel.”

The team is proud to be sponsored by Scot Forge. The new sponsorship will empower the team to add new enhancements to the car they are working on. “Scot Forge’s generosity for our club will hopefully create a turning point for our team so that we will be able to win future races,” said Ellingsen. 

SAE Baja team members:

  • Ameed Abidalrahim, mechanical engineering
  • Camden Ellingsen, mechanical engineering
  • Grayson Vandenbush, mechanical engineering
  • Ian James, mechanical engineering
  • Nolan Washburn, mechanical engineering
  • Dylan Alcorn, mechanical engineering
  • Connell Fryer, mechanical engineering
  • Nate Bong, mechanical engineering
  • Brady Berghauer, mechanical engineering
  • Owen Jacobsen, mechanical engineering
  • Jake Betz, mechanical engineering
  • Pete Wall, biomedical engineering
  • Drew Lee, mechanical engineering
  • Bart Maciol, electrical engineering
  • Harrison Hamrin, mechanical engineering
  • Steven Hutton, mechanical engineering
  • Clayton Stewart, mechanical engineering
  • Grayson Adams, mechanical engineering
  • Jacob Strohmeyer, mechanical engineering

Students interested in joining the SAE Baja team are welcome to attend a meeting on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in S-262.

Photo taken by Ameed Abidalrahim.