On October 6th, the Case Western Reserve Baja team traveled to Podium One Motoplex outside Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the University of Louisville’s Midnight Mayhem, bringing seven veterans and five rookies to the event. Midnight Mayhem is a four-hour endurance race held from 8:00pm to midnight under the lights of a motocross track. As a regional event, Midnight Mayhem’s organizers had the freedom to set the engine governor slightly higher than in national competitions, at 4200 rpm instead of the usual 3800 rpm. This made for a fast, exciting race that demanded different skills from drivers than the national events do, and offered a unique training opportunity for CWRU’s drivers.
For the first time ever, CWRU Baja brought two cars to a competition; #48 from 2010 and #78 from 2012. CWRU placed 16th and 22nd, respectively, against the approximately fifty cars in attendance, which included stiff competition from nationally-ranked top-ten teams.
The team arrived mid-afternoon, and set to work getting both cars through technical inspection and brake check. Both inspections went smoothly, but the brake check revealed some problems with car #48’s brakes. After some last-minute fixes by Alyssa Wolff, Jacob Greco and CJ Valle, drivers Jacob Rhodes and Alex “JEGS” Letwin took to the track and made good time for about an hour before both cars suffered damage at the hands of a fast, rough race. The team worked quickly and cohesively to get both cars back on the track as soon as possible, and save for a flat tire, both cars were in for the rest of the contest. Team members Ankur Mohan, Daniel Lane, and Nick Jones were instrumental in the repairs that occurred mid-race, and members Ryan Hansen, Katie Welch, Paul Blumenkopf and Drew Weibel provided critical “Carnage Crew” on-track support to all competitors during the event.
The team learned a lot from the damage sustained, and plans to design the 2013 vehicle (#83) to include tougher, more durable parts where failures occurred. Additionally, the team would like to thank the Case Alumni Association for their financial support and their Advisor, Jim Drake, for his time and expertise.
Posted by CJ Valle November 3, 2012