The Society of Automotive Engineers’ Baja team won its 12th championship over the summer.
With this win, the team boasts a new record because it holds twice the number of championships compared to any other Baja team in the world.
Faculty Adviser Dale Wilson said that the team’s disadvantage when compared to the other top teams is the financial situation.
“We have some students that do their University Academic Scholarship hours with us, but there are no scholarships,” Wilson said. “About 25 percent of our funding comes from SGA, and the rest is from sponsors.”
Each year Tech’s Baja team spends about $10,000 to build a new car for the races. Labor is free because the students build the car and a lot of the parts are donated by local companies.
According to annual price reports, Cornell University has a budget of $30,000 on a team car. Cornell has only won a championship once.
Even with such a low budget compared to other schools, the Baja team still finishes in the top 10 at least 80 percent of the time.
According to Wilson, the advantage comes from being at Tech.
“The school attracts people who want to put in the time and work to be successful,” Wilson said. “The other advantage is that each year, the students have more knowledge that they can build upon to make a better car.”
Tech’s Baja team is also known for good sportsmanship. If another team is having problems with a car, Tech helps to get it running correctly.
“We’re glad to help anybody get second place,” senior Tyrell Laxton said.
The team consistently shows that while more financial support from the school would be beneficial, money isn’t all that matters when it comes to winning. The lack of funding is a disadvantage, but the team has learned how to work around the negatives and come out on top.