On May 26, the team showed up bright and early to the BSAE Midwest Competition in Pittsburg, Kansas. There was worry that the team would not be able to have a place to stay because the hotel they were staying in was in Joplin right after the tornado, but luckily the hotel was just out of the path of destruction. The first day was spent waiting to get the engine governed and talking to other teams about their cars. Seeing all of the cars lined up, it was very easy to go and talk to teams and all were willing to talk and show off their hard work that had paid off during the year.
May 27th saw the beginning of the technical inspections as well as the brake test, cost audit, and the design competition. The team almost made it through tech on the first try, only having to tape the ends of the firewall to close up small gaps between the firewall and the frame. The judges went away with all of their questions answered during the design presentation portion of the day. Car 62 placed 22nd out of 100 cars that participated.
The next day dawned on the 87 teams trying to make it to all of the dynamic events scheduled for that day. Going from the paddock where all of the trailers were to the event area started out pretty clean, but soon turned into a muddy mess bad enough that the organizers had to put hay down in the worst spots. In some spots the mud was over one foot deep and shoes clung onto their owner's feet for dear life. The longer the day went on, the more the tracks turned into a mud pit and very difficult to navigate. Teams that got to the courses later had a very noticeable decrease in performance. The team put in a great effort at all of the events with Austin Schmidt driving for the acceleration course, Elliot Sting driving the car for the sled pull, Rodney Nelson driving maneuverability, and Rob Daniels driving in the suspension and traction course. Car 62 placed 64th out of 81 cars that participated in the dynamic events.
The final day was just the four hour endurance race and after having several issues with constantly breaking 5th links, the car finally taken out of the race just over halfway when the teeth on the gears in the gearbox were shredded because there was not enough oil reaching that portion of the gearbox. The car ended up in 50th place out of the 75 that made it to the endurance race. This put the team in an overall placement of a respectable 48th out of the total 100 cars that participated in the competition. The team had a lot of fun and because only three of the twelve people would be returning the next year, this was an invaluable experience to learn more about Baja to make sure that the team keeps getting better and better.
The end of this year marked the conclusion of the tenth consecutive year of Case Western Reserve University's Baja team competing in SAE's Mini Baja Series.
Posted by Alyssa Wolff on November 6, 2012