For the second time this year, the Kettering University Baja team posted their best result in five years, finishing 47th out of 99 teams at the competition in Maryland from May 7-10.
“This year we did much better than last year. The car is definitely better,” said Dr. Arnaldo Mazzei, professor of Mechanical Engineering and faculty advisor to the Baja team since 2011.
In April 2015, the finished 52nd out of 93 teams which was their best finish until last weekend in Maryland. The 513.94 points scored in Maryland was also the team’s highest total since 2011.
The three-day competition consists of engine testing, design and sales presentation and an inspection.
“They go through a sales presentation where they try to sell their car as if they are going to put it on the market,” Mazzei said.
On the final day, the vehicle is tested for maneuverability, acceleration, suspension, hill climb and endurance on a track. Zachary Watts and Stacy Mann were the drivers of the vehicle and the duo was able to complete 18 laps on the circuit. The first-place team completed 51 laps.
“We just have to try and make the design of the rear suspension stronger,” Mazzei said. “We have to work on that.”
Specifically, the team finished 20th in sales, 7th in cost, 11th in maneuverability, 36th in acceleration, 39th in both suspension and hill climb, and 46th in endurance.