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Brazilian Team Takes Midwest Mini-Baja(R)

15 June 1998

Brazilian 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


    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.