Baja In Bourbon Country

CTech Manufacturing > Baja In Bourbon Country

Louisville, KY – May 23, 2021: You can probably run a Briggs & Stratton engine on Bourbon, but it wouldn’t make it very far on the Drop Forge Proving grounds, where nearly 60 collegiate SAE teams spent last weekend pushing their school-built offroad racing machines to the limit.

A Baja SAE Vehicle Sits on display in the paddock | Baja SAE Louisville 2021

CTech Manufacturing was honored to be listed as the official event Paddock Sponsor for this event; joining a host of other high-profile industrial sponsors like Oshkosh, Honda, Polaris, and many others. As a first-time sponsor, CTech representative Max Kittleson was thrilled to catch the action in person.

“This event is no joke. The terrain is rough, temperatures are high, and pressure is on for all the students. I’m extremely impressed by the effort and ingenuity displayed by these teams. Just making it here is a huge accomplishment.” -Max Kittleson, Marketing Content Developer

What Is SAE?

The Society of Automotive Engineers is a worldwide organization that supports a wide range of STEM-focused curriculum and challenges. In the Collegiate Design Series series, college-based engineering teams design, build and operate their very own offroad racing vehicles. All from scratch.

Baja teams have sponsors, deadlines, rule books, and everything else that other motorsports disciplines have… With one exception; students aren’t being paid to take part. Indeed, these challenges are completely extracurricular, making their achievements that much more impressive.

Throughout the school year, and often beyond, students on these Baja teams are working together to design and build a vehicle to participate in one of SAE’s dynamic challenges. The most recent of which was hosted by the University of Louisville, on their Drop Forge Proving Grounds.

Baja SAE Louisville

One of three Baja SAE events hosted in the United States this year, Baja SAE Louisville attracts student teams from both ends of the country and beyond. Dynamic tests like brake check, acceleration, maneuverability, hill climb, and others are designed to push offroad vehicles to the limit and beyond.

Points are scored at each test, meaning teams are competing directly with each other throughout the event to see who’s creation is superior. What’s at stake? Multiple specialty awards from sponsors (sometimes involving cash and other prizes), pride, and TONS of bragging rights.

#OrganizeToWin Specialty Award

Besides serving as a Gold sponsor, CTech threw teams an extra challenge for Baja SAE Louisville. The #OrganizeToWin specialty award was created to inspire teams to get organized and share why it matters to them. While on location, Max Kittleson observed some interesting organizational tactics himself.

“Walking through the paddock here, I noticed quite a few organizational tactics that we wouldn’t ever see in a NASCAR paddock. From entire tool loadouts organized on folding tables, to homemade rolling closets and intricate tool handling tactics. These teams are doing absolutely everything to stay organized, no matter the budget, and that’s the spirit of the #OrganizeToWin challenge.”

The University of Oklahoma “Sooner Offroad” team was crowned inaugural #OrganizeToWin Champions. They demonstrated a very well-organized workshop, and proved to be extremely efficient in the paddock during Sunday’s endurance race. The next Champions of organization will be crowned during Formula SAE’s Michigan event.

A Strong Commitment To STEM Education

Sponsoring a STEM-based challenge like Baja SAE is a logical next step for CTech Manufacturing, which has been a consistent supporter of STEM-based programs of many kinds. Aside from SAE sponsorship, CTech also supports the STEM101 Air Drag Challenge, Formula Student, and other initiatives.

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Max Kittleson

Longtime SCCA member and road racer. Content developer. Knowledge gatherer. Proponent of good storage! I was born and raised around the storage industry thanks to my father; David, who started Closet Concepts LLC with his brother in the late-'80's.

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