Briggs & Stratton builds on its commitment to Baja SAE competition

Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power continues to strengthen its longstanding relationship with the SAE International and the Baja Collegiate Design Competition.

Editors were invited to attend the competition at the Caterpillar Edwards Demonstration and Proving Grounds near Peoria June 9. As a guest of Briggs & Stratton, editors received VIP passes to get up-close to the competition made up of 92 teams.

Briggs & Stratton has been the exclusive provider of engines for the Baja SAE competiton since the program began. This year marks the first time teams were provided a 10-gross-hp. Vanguard commercial engine.

Baja course
Negotiating the Baja track is one of four challenges the club-built all-terrain vehicles must complete. The other events include a hill climb, rock climb and endurance race.
Students work on Baja vehicle
Engineering students build and test their all-terrain vehicle to survive the severe punishment of rough terrain in the competitions dynamic events.
Vanguard engine in Baja ATV
This marks the first year that teams were provided a 10-gross-horsepower Vanguard commercial engine.
baja car example
The all-terrain vehicles are tested in dynamic events, including acceleration, braking, hill climbing and maneuverability.

Briggs & Stratton has sponsored the event since 1976 when Frederick P. Stratton Jr. partnered with SAE to provide dependable engines for the new Baja Collegiate Design Series. The event has since expanded to include about 2,000 active university programs around the world. In addition to providing Vanguard engines, Briggs & Stratton provides technical and engine expertise.

“Briggs and Stratton is continually seeking to improve the industries where our customers work. One way to do this is by providing opportunities for future innovators and industry leaders,” says Jim Cross, marketing manager, Briggs & Stratton Commercial Power. “Baja SAE aligns perfectly with this goal and is a rewarding way to invest in the next generation.”

Baja SAE competitions are structured to simulate real-world engineering projects. Teams of engineering students design, build, test, promote, race and develop financial support for their vehicle.

Each team's goal is to create a prototype single-seat, all-terrain vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain in dynamic events, including acceleration, braking, hill climbing and maneuverability.

“The dependable performance of Vanguard engines makes them an ideal fit for the Baja competition,” Cross said. “Through our rigorous testing, we’re able to ensure that every engine withstands the most demanding conditions and harsh environments, whether it’s at a job site or powering advanced all-terrain vehicles.”

The competitions also incorporate planning and manufacturing tasks associated with the introduction of a new product line to the consumer recreational vehicle market. The main objective is to develop a viable production model to be selected by a fictitious firm.

Each year, international engineering, automotive and racing companies attend the highly competitive events to recruit top engineering students.

This year’s Baja SAE Collegiate Design Series competitions were held in Gorman, California; Pittsburg, Kansas; and Peoria, Illinois.

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are lifelong learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion and the Collegiate Design Series.

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