Miner SAE Baja Closes Their Racing Season

BAjaDSC_5930.jpgS&T’s SAE Baja Team started the year with an ambitious plan, to compete in all three SAE off-road events in 2012.
Those three events, held in Alabama, Oregon and Wisconsin, pretty much covered the length and breadth of the land. And that means a ton of driving and some pretty high fuel bills.
The Miners ran a very light car at the Alabama event, just half the weight of their 2006 monster “Overkill” back when the team was first established. Light weight means better handling, speed, and fuel economy, but does risk sacrificing durability.
At the season-opening Alabama event their sleek #25 car broke a steering part that put them back in the pits for repairs, but they kept on working and managed to get back out to the four-hour endurance race.
Event #2, outside of Portland, Oregon coincided with final exams, so once you add 2+ days of travel each way (and lots of fuel!), they made the correct decision to stay home to take care of their grades. And it also kept the team from bankrupting themselves for next year.
Late May into June was time to return to the shop to ‘toughen up’ the #25 car for the Wisconsin finale, but by that time graduation and summer jobs put a severe dent in their rebuild schedule. Rather than send an undermanned team to Packerland, they showed a lot of maturity by admitting that it’d be better to focus on next year than to send a team that might struggle to do the best they could do.
This should be a great example to new team members about knowing when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em.