Competing against 90 teams from the United States and Canada, the Cal Poly Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Team drove to a fourth-place finish at the Baja SAE California competition on April 27-30 at the Quail Canyon Special Events Area in Gorman, Calif.
“A lot of work led this young Cal Poly team to the highest finish in Baja SAE in more than a decade,” said John Fabijanic, faculty advisor to the Cal Poly Baja SAE club. “And what’s important to note is the large number of freshmen we have on the team who are committed more than ever to take the fight to the top echelon teams.”
In a car driven by mechanical engineering students Will Antes and Samantha Tran and led by team leaders Connor Kingsbury and Paul Swartz, Cal Poly finished fourth behind École de Technologie Supérieure, the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and Rochester Institute of Technology. Cal Poly’s fourth-place point total included fourth and sixth-place finishes in two “maneuverability suspension/traction” events, sixth place in design, seventh in acceleration, eighth in endurance and 16th in cost report.
“In the endurance race, the team had to overcome a big mid-race problem with the braking system,” Fabijanic said. “It was a solid performance in light of the fact that a couple of teams ahead of us going into the endurance race — Cornell and Michigan Ann Arbor — finished behind us due to more significant failures during the race.”
The Cal Poly Baja SAE team will return to the track on June 7-10 at the Baja SAE Illinois event held at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center in Peoria, Ill.