College competition racing Baja off-road vehicles

A group of students in gray shirts file out of a cramped classroom onto the road. Shining flashlights to see through the darkness, they huddle around the frame of a short, black car.

One yanks on the pull start.

The engine roars to life, and the car takes off down the road, ready for competition.

The vehicle will race this week at the Baja Society of Automotive Engineers regional competition in Oregon. The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, build and race an off-road vehicle, testing the cars in categories such as maneuverability, acceleration and endurance.

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Each car in the competition must be built using the same type of engine, but the design of other parts such as the gear box and transmissions are up to each team, said Dylan Aramburu, a second-year mechanical engineering student on the UCLA Team. This gives teams the opportunity to fabricate their own customized parts.

A lot of teams buy gearboxes to put in their cars, but UCLA’s Baja team makes its own from scratch, said Anthony Tyson, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student and one of the project leaders for the team.

keep readingUCLA Racing Baja team seeks off-road victory

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