A Virginia Tech team of students took home several awards in a competition pitting them against peer schools to design, build, and race an off-road vehicle.

The students team took home a total of six awards in the competition held September 6-10 at Nashport, Ohio. Their awards included:

  • 1st overall dynamics
  • 2nd S&T
  • 3rd overall
  • 3rd maneuverability
  • 3rd sled/pilot pull
  • 4th endurance
  • 8th acceleration
  • 11th design
  • 13th cost

The rigor of the Baja competition breaks many of the vehicles that enter, and race events often include towing cars off the field to be repaired. Finishing the day at all is a mark of excellence, and finishing near the top requires an extra measure of tenacity. 110 teams entered the Ohio leg, with 78 making the leaderboard and 51 surviving to run the final endurance race. Other competitors included Michigan, ETS, Case Western, McGill, RIT, Michigan State, UNLV, Cornell, Georgia Tech, and UMBC.

This was the last event of a season that kicked off in May, with Virginia Tech’s team picking up trophies in all iterations of the competition.

“These dedicated students have put in countless hours creating innovative and iterative designs, manufacturing, creating a test environment, and proving their designs in the field,” said advisor Jared Bryson.

Sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers and Honda, Baja SAE® hosts competitions that bring collegiate teams together to create real-world engineering design projects and put them to the test. Students are tasked to design and build an off-road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain.  Each team's goal is to design, build, and test a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle whose structure contains the driver. 

The VT Baja team at the September 10 award ceremony in Nashport, Ohio.
The VT Baja team at the September 10 award ceremony in Nashport, Ohio. Photo courtesy of the team.