Iowa State’s Mini Baja Team was ninth heading into the last – and biggest – event of the SAE Baja 2010 competition in Bellingham, Wash., sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. And the off-road racer the students had designed and built was running like they thought it would. But there were some problems during the four-hour race worth 40 percent of the team’s score, said team member Scott Brehm, a sophomore from Rickardsville who’s studying mechanical engineering. The rear shocks blew out early in the race. Then the car was hit in the rear by another car. And the electronics system controlling power to the rear wheels came loose and caused some blown fuses. The result: 23 laps completed (the top three teams completed 47) and a 46th place finish in the race. That dropped the team to 28th overall among 85 scored cars. Even so, “We like this car,” said Shane Pearson, a May mechanical engineering graduate from Spencer who has a new job designing suspensions for Polaris Industries Inc. “It performed as we expected and we’ve finally found a design we can work with.” And so Pearson said the team is expecting some better racing next year.
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