NMU Baja Team Gunning for a Top 5 Finish

in February 2012

Mud Corner
The NMU Baja team competed in the National Baja Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) competition held this summer in Peoria, Illinois. NMU students including Matthew Barbercheck, Jimmy Hilbrecht, Brad Richard, Andrew Shafer, Dan Klim, Jared Schimke, and Chris Robinson participated in the competition. Finishing 69th overall in a field of 115 teams, the NMU team improved their rank from the previous year in almost all categories.  Matthew Barbercheck drove the car to a 48th place finish in the Rock Crawl event , and Andrew Shafer piloted the car to a 52nd place finish in the Maneuverability event.

Originating in 1976, the SAE Baja Competition Series has become one of the premier engineering design competitions for University teams from around the nation and around the world. The competition is designed to push a student’s understanding of engineering principles and real-life engineering challenges that they must overcome to design, build and race an off-road race car. Students gain valuable knowledge and experience from this program unlike any classroom ever could.  The project includes everything from fundraising and engineering to fabricating and racing a complete and functional prototype of an off-road vehicle.  The NMU Baja team has competed in the SAE Baja Series in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010.   In the past year the NMU team also competed in two races, the Michigan Tech Winter Baja and the Oregon SAE Baja event. 

Action in the pitsThe 2011 car represents a couple of milestones for the NMU team.  The 2011 car is 200 pounds lighter than the 2010 car and it has a much shorter wheelbase than the 2010 car.   The NMU Baja team is now designing and building a new Baja car to compete in upcoming 2012 competitions.   The 2012 car is designed to be lighter, shorter, and have a lower center of gravity than the 2011 car.   After an 11th place finishing at the MTU race in 2011, look for the NMU in the top 5 at MTU race in February 2012!

More information regarding Baja SAE can be found at:

- The SAE website: http://students.sae.org/competitions/bajasae/about.htm.

- The NMU Baja website:  http://NMUBaja.org

-YouTube video of NMU at 2011 MTU race:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO7LnERqzY8