Baja SAE Tournament

Close up of Cal State LA’s driver and team members

Cal State LA’s oldest club on campus, Rugged Eagle Motorsports, recently competed in Baja Society of Automotive Engineers’s (SAE) tournament in Rochester, New York. This is the first time the club participated in two tournaments in its 40 year history on campus. 

The tournament consisted of student-made vehicles driving through obstacles such as hill climbing, a maneuverability course, a suspension and traction course, and finally, an acceleration run. According to the captain, Juan Cortes, the team used last year’s model and made changes to the vehicle which took roughly a year to complete.

The intercollegiate three day tournament took place on June 6 where about 90 vehicles from all over the world such as India, China, Venezuela and Brazil, participated in the competition. 

According to Cortes, the tournament is separated into 2 parts. The first component of the event consisted of racing the vehicle across a series of off-road terrain. The   second component of the competition is creating a sales presentation. 

“We have to keep track of how much everything costs, and that’s a cost report that we have to turn in. And on top of that, we have to have a sales pitch to this imaginary investor,” Cortes explained.

Cal State LA ended the tournament with a rank of 35 overall. As the team begins to prepare for future competitions, Cortes hopes that next academic year the team excels in all aspects.

“We’re going to place top 10 next year, I saw it this year and it’s definitely going to happen next year,” said Cortes. 

“My main goal is to build young engineers and push engineering in this club so new members are able to learn from us and take that into the real world.”