Cornell Baja Racing: my favorite aspect of being a student at Cornell!

Project team Baja RacingCornell Baja Racing is my favorite aspect of being a student at Cornell. Baja Racing is a club where students with many different skills and backgrounds come together to build an ATV! Our car can climb hills, go fast, pull serious weight, and go anywhere off-road. During the school year, we build the car by dividing into different sub-teams. Each sub-team is responsible for designing and constructing different aspects of the car, and everything is combined at the end in order to complete the car. The car is then raced against other schools at our three annual competitions in the spring!

I joined the team as a freshman and became a part of the Business sub-team because I thought it would complement my major, operations research and information engineering. One of my projects was planning travel for our team members to go to competition. That year, one of them was held in the San Emigdio mountains in California, about two hours north of Los Angeles. Genuinely, it was the greatest competition ever. Being able to compete and spend time with the other kids on Baja was an unforgettable experience.

Project team Baja RacingThe competition took place right after finals, and our teammates flew out right after school ended. I organized for our entire team to stay at an Airbnb in the middle of the mountains. It was a beautiful ranch with dozens of acres of land. The competition site was awesome too, as the track raced up and down the mountains. Every morning at competition was marked with a beautiful sunrise and every evening with a sunset. As about 35 out of the 50 members of our team went, I was able to hang out with students I did not know from the other sub-teams and grow incredibly close.

Project team Baja RacingBeing able to go to competition was so rewarding, as I got to see all of the hard work I put in throughout the year pay off. I also got to see our car compete against 100 teams, and that included winning the endurance race! The endurance race is a four-hour event on the last day of competition where we drive our car around an off-road circuit against the other teams, with the winner covering the most distance. We ultimately made top 10 for the entire competition, placing 7th. Every other competition since has also been a blast, and I cannot wait for another competition this year!

~Michael, operations research and engineering