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Mini-Baja meets challenges

Mini-BajaA group of 10 LU senior mechanical engineering students, also known as “Cardinal Racing,” who designed, built and raced an all-terrain vehicle took first place in a sled-pull event, and finished 30th overall out of the 100 teams at the 2013 SAE Baja East competition in Cookeville, Tenn., April 18-21.

Mini-BajaHosted by Tennessee Tech University, the goal of this intercollegiate competition was to construct a functional, durable, versatile and cost-effective vehicle that could be mass-produced by a fictitious firm. To ensure the competition that puts emphasis on driveline, suspension, and chassis designs, all vehicles must be powered by unmodified 10-horsepower engines donated by Briggs & Stratton Corp.

Each team puts their vehicle through its paces in a variety of dynamic tests; hill climbs, chain pulls, maneuverability, rock crawls, suspension and traction events as well as a four-hour endurance race.

Mini-BajaIn addition to taking first place in sled pull event, Lamar’s team finished 25th in suspension and traction, 29th in acceleration, 33rd in design and endurance race, 35th in maneuverability, and 61st in cost.

On the “Cardinal Racing” team were: Trey Frederick, Jacob James, Garrett Minaldi, Jacob Porter, and Eddie Strickland, all of Beaumont; Adam Tanton, Silsbee; Peter Newell, Baytown; Kyle Horton, League City; Ryan Clarke and Jude Vidrine, both of Nederland. The team received an overall score of 575.03.

This is the fifth consecutive year for Lamar University to have a team in the SAE Baja competition. At last year’s event, in Wisconsin, Cardinal Racing scored a 389.39 to finish in 77th place.