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Cornell Baja Racing Takes 1st

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Cookeville, TN, Apr. 22, 2013 The Cornell Baja SAE Racing Team brought home another 1st place win at the 2013 Baja SAE International Competition hosted by Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee. The competition, which began in 1976 as the Mini Baja competitions, has 100 international collegiate teams design and build an off-road vehicle suitable for use in a variety of conditions. The overall goal of the competition is to design a functional, durable, versatile and cost effective vehicle that can be mass-produced by a fictitious firm.

In addition to taking 1st place overall, ML09, the Cornell team’s latest vehicle, was successful in all dynamic and static events, coming home with 2nd in Overall Design, 2nd in Overall Dynamics, 1st in Suspension and Traction, 1st in Acceleration, 4th in Maneuverability, and a perfect score on the Cost Report. Ohio Northern University followed very closely and took 2nd place overall with only a few point difference in score and École de Technologie Supérieure took 3rd overall.

Although Cornell came out with a solid 1st place win, we had some very strong competition. Rochester Institute of Technology challenged us in the Dynamic events, taking a strong lead in the Sled Pull and Maneuverability events. The second day of racing, the Endurance Race portion of the competition, was extremely important in deciding the overall winner. Unfortunately, both RIT and Cornell had technical issues during the Endurance race, with Cornell having to replace the front tie rod and lower a-arm as well as struggling with fuel issues. Ultimately, Cornell persevered and through smart driving and quick pit stops received a total of 21 Endurance laps out of the 27 maximum completed by the Endurance winners.  We will be analyzing and correcting these issues within the next few weeks as we prepare for our next competition. 

The Cornell University team of 35—consisting mostly of mechanical engineers—has been researching, designing, and building this latest vehicle iteration since the summer of 2012. While a lot of time and effort went into the creation of the winning vehicle, the Baja team also recognizes that none of it would be possible without the monetary and in-kind support from family, friends, Cornell alumni, and corporate sponsors.

The full list of Cornell Baja’s awards and accomplishments for this year and past years can be seen under the History section of the team’s site,  We are still collecting pictures and media from the Tennessee competition, please send any media to Lauryn Berretta at as well as contact her if you would like to receive any pictures from this event. The team’s final competition of the year will be June 6–9 in Rochester, NY. The team’s twitter—@CUBaja–will be updated with progress before and during the upcoming event.


Lauryn Berretta

Business Team Leader

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