SAE Mini Baja Team 2017

The Team

The University of San Diego’s SAE Baja program is an interdisciplinary engineering team consisting of mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering students from the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. In addition, we will enlist students from the University of San Diego’s School of Business to manage finances and facilitate funding. For the second year in a row, our team will design, engineer, fabricate, test and compete with an off-road vehicle in the 2017 SAE Collegiate Design Series. Last year’s team found immense success by finishing 30th overall out of over 90 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 to expand this program to a school-wide venture to provide a practical, real-world learning experience. We are working day and night to make USD proud and cannot thank you enough for your support.


The Competition

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 along with computer aided drafting, analysis, testing and development, manufacturability, serviceability, system integration and how well our vehicle performs dynamically. The 2017 west coast competition will be held in Gorman, California from April 27th through the 30th, and will host over 100 universities. The competition consists of both static and dynamic events over a three 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 four or five of 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 $25,000 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

If you are interested in corporate sponsorship, check out the sponsorship options available.

For more information, email

Sponsors For Torero Racing 

Exclusive Gold

Terrible Herbst - Gold Sponsor



Western Rentals


Dispatching Solutions Inc.


Auto Parts Warehouse

JC Whitney

CJ Pony Parts

Contact Us

Reach us at or email for corporate sposnorship questions.

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