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HISTORY

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Mini Baja student design competition held its first event in Columbia, SC in 1976. The competition was originated by the University of South Carolina, under the supervision of Dr. John F. Stephens. The first competition included eight teams from across the US. Today, nearly 30 years later, there are three competitions in the US and several international competitions involving over 200 Universities world-wide. The three US competitions include the East, Midwest, and West.  The East is by far the most challenging competition as the vehicles must have the ability to traverse deep water (i.e., float). The Midwest competition is more of a motocross style track and typically has the greatest number of entries. Over 140 teams registered for this event in 2005. The final competition held in the US is the West competition which involves more mountainous terrain, hill climbing, and rock crawling abilities.

May 2005 was the first time USC has entered a competition in four years. USC has played a significant role in baja history, as in 1994, USC was the first team to have a successful 4 wheel drive car. The car placed 4th overall. Last year they placed 38th out of 72, which wasn't too terrible considering their inexperience as a team. The team has a better idea of what they need to do to score more points and are planning adjustments as necessary.

Click here for in-depth background information on the History of the Mini Baja Competition.

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