SAE Mini Baja Team 2018

The Team

University of San Diego’s SAE Baja program is an interdisciplinary team consisting of mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering students. In addition, we will enlist students from the University of San Diego’s School of Business to manage finances and facilitate funding. For the third year in a row, our team will design, engineer, fabricate, test , and compete with an off-road vehicle in the 2018 SAE Collegiate Design Series. Last year’s team found immense success by finishing 44th overall out of over 100 teams. 

This year’s team aims to improve on the previous design by reducing excess weight, refining vehicle control, and improving overall durability. As a team, we intend on expanding this program to a school wide venture to provide practical learning experience. We are working day and night to make USD proud and cannot thank you enough for your support.


Competition Overview

SAE Baja consists of three regional competitions that test each team’s vehicle design to the breaking point. Throughout the competition, our team will be judged on the creation of design specifications and the ability to meet those specifications, computer aided drafting, analysis, testing and development, manufacturability, serviceability, system integration and how well our vehicle performs dynamically. The 2018 west coast competition will be held in Washougal, Washington from May 30th to June 2nd and will host over 100 universities. The competition consists of both static and dynamic events over a 3 day period.

Day 1—Static Evaluation

Teams must present their vehicle design to a panel of judges, giving justification for design choices. Cars are judged on a variety of aspects including suspension, powertrain, steering, driver and seat ergonomics, manufacturability and craftsmanship. A rigorous technical inspection is performed to ensure safety and compliance with all rules and regulations.

Day 2—Dynamic Evaluation

Cars are put through a series of events to evaluate the quality of each subsystem. These events are different for each competition but usually include the following: acceleration, hill climb, maneuverability, suspension and traction, sled pull and mud bog. Points are awarded for distance, speed or time, depending on the event.

Day 3—Endurance Race

The endurance race is considered the main event of competition. For four hours, all cars race wheel -to-wheel on a track riddled with obstacles including trees, jumps, logs, railroad ties, boulders, and ditches. The track is designed to push cars past their limit and it is extremely rare for any car to make it through the race without stopping for repairs. This event contributes forty percent of all points awarded throughout the competition.

For more information, check out SAE’s official West Coast Competition Site

engineers working on baja

Project Sponsorship

This project will require more than $30,000 to successfully build and integrate the chassis/frame/ergonomics, front/rear suspension System, steering, brakes, drivetrain/powertrain, and electrical systems. We need your help to take our dream from conception to reality! If you have the means, we’d greatly appreciate your donation, large or small. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated!

Donate to our ChangeFunding page or directly to the School of Engineering (Enter your gift amount, select the box marked “Other” and write “Baja competition” in the next box).

Sponsorship Levels and Benefits

Execlusive Platinum Sponsor

Taylor Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Terrible Herbst

Richard and Susan Pennington

Silver Sponsors

Dean L. de Caussin
Larry C. de Caussin
Dr. Luis J. Navazo
Dr. Christopher K. Sinha

Bronze Sponsors

Ms. Patricia A. Centurione
Mr. Rodney de Caussin
Morena Automotive, Inc.
Ortiz's Taco Shop
Mr. James D. Power IV
Mr. Richard C. Rementeria III
Mr. Curtis Robb
Mr. Mark A Spilde


Mr. Jeff Gustafson
Mr. Stephen Peterson
Mr. John Savage
Mr. Patrick Thomas

If you are interested in corporate sponsorship, check out the sponsorship options available.
Reach us at or email for corporate sponsorship questions.

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