Brazilian Team Takes Midwest Mini-Baja(R)
15 June 1998Brazilian Team Takes Midwest Mini-Baja(R)
WARRENDALE, Pa., June 12 -- The Universidada Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, a college team from Natal, Brazil, driving a student-designed and built off-road vehicle powered by an 8-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine, won the 1998 SAE Midwest Mini-Baja(R) held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 5-7 It marks the first time a team outside North America has won a Mini-Baja event. The Rio Grande do Norte crew was making their first appearance in the U.S. event, which is also an unusual achievement for a rookie team. SAE Brazil, the Society of Automotive Engineers affiliate in that country, has 40 student chapters and has conducted its own Mini-Baja(R) event since 1995. Rio Grande do Norte won the SAE Brazil Mini-Baja, which was held in Sao Paulo May 7-10 and drew 60 teams from around the country. Rio Grande do Norte scored a total 702.37, edging out Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia with 698.43 points. The University of Akron, winner of the 1997 SAE Midwest Mini-Baja, was third this year, with 682.63 points and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana finished fourth with 682.50 points. Virginia Tech went into the final event, the endurance race, clinging to a two-point lead. Due to the high number of entries (97), two qualifying heats were run, followed by a 2-1/2 hour final heat with the 60 top teams. Rio Grande won this event by less than seven points. Midwest Mini-Baja is a student design competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It demonstrates how well a student-designed and built off-road vehicle can perform over rough terrain for extended periods of time. MIDWEST MINI-BAJA(R) TOP TEN 1. Universidada Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil 702.37 2. Virginia Polytechnic University, Blacksburg, Virginia 698.43 3. University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 682.63 4. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 682.50 5. Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 679.52 6. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 674.93 7. University of Portland, Portland, Oregon 668.09 8. Kettering University, Flint, Michigan 656.07 9. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 650.67 10. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 644.53 SAE is a non-profit educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of mobility technology to better serve humanity. More than 74,000 engineers and scientists who are SAE members develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles including automobiles, trucks and buses, off-highway equipment, aircraft, aerospace vehicles, marine, rail, and transit systems. SAE disseminates this information through its meetings, books, technical papers, magazines, standards, reports, continuing education programs, and electronic data bases.