Momentum - March 2019 - 13
RACING IN THE DARK
LOUISVILLE MIDNIGHT MAYHEM is an annual exhibition race, hosted by
the University of Louisville and organized by Louisville SAE Baja Alumni,
for student-built vehicles conforming to the rules of the Baja SAE series.
While this event is organized around the use of Baja SAE vehicles, SAE is
not directly involved with the organization and operation of the event.
Students from across North America to travel to Kentucky, test new
designs and ideas, show new members what Baja SAE is all about, and
race wheel-to-wheel against over 50 other colleges and universities in
various racing events.
Like any other event for Baja SAE teams, Midnight Mayhem's feature
event is an endurance race that challenges teams to navigate a course
full of rocks, logs, jumps, and other obstacles to see whose car can make
the most laps in four hours.
But what makes Midnight Mayhem different? The endurance race
is held in the dark! Racing lasts from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, making
Midnight Mayhem the only Baja SAE-related event hosted "under the
lights," which is why teams come back for this unique experience each
year, said Diandra Sawyer, a chemical engineering major at the University
of Louisville's J.B. Speed School of Engineering who is serving as PR and
Business Captain of the university's Baja SAE team.
On October 12 and 13, 2018, Louisville Baja SAE's alumni hosted the
10th annual Midnight Mayhem. Teams can bring up to three cars that have
passed tech at an SAE event in the last five years. Nearly 1100 students
attended Midnight Mayhem, which was 400 more than the year previous.
For the fifth year in a row, Mayhem was held at Nickota Motocross
Park in Bedford, Ky. (about 45 minutes away from the University of
Louisville). Because Nickota allows the alumni to dig, event organizers
can change the endurance track and the areas for the other dynamic
events every year, so even returning teams have new challenges to face.
With this being the 10th anniversary of Midnight Mayhem, the alumni
wanted to make the event special, so for the first time, there were
two days of racing. After tech inspection on the first day, teams from
different schools were put in groups together to compete in Sundown
Showdown, a Baja relay race. The cars were randomly placed onto one
of up to 20 teams. There were five cars per team, and each car was from
a different university.
Teams braved the rain to compete in the unique relay-style event that
was aimed at getting universities to meet and work together to come out
on top. The relay race was conducted similar to a relay race run in a track
and field event. One car from each team completed two laps around the
track as fast as possible. On completion of lap two, the driver entered
the fuel pits, pulled in to the designated area for his/her team, turned off
the car, got out, and "passed the baton" by running to start the next car
for their team. The first team to complete 10 laps (two per car) won the
heat. The final heat of the evening was the Championship heat, in which
the winners of the previous heats competed for the top spot.
Thankfully, Sawyer said, good weather came on Saturday, allowing
for a perfect day of dynamic events and then a traditional four-hour
Endurance Event that was won by the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
University of Wisconsin-Stout's winning Baja car.
Second place in the Endurance Event went to Western
University and third place to Grove City College. The
overall winner was University of Wisconsin-Stout,
followed by Western University in second place and
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in third.
"None of us really expected [to win]," said UW-Stout
team president Tony Wierzba. "It was a pretty successful
weekend." The UW-Stout team has about 20 members,
four of whom participated in Midnight Mayhem 2018:
Sean Durian, Colin Mittelstaedt, Jason Richardson, and
Louisville Baja SAE's "very green" team with many
freshmen had a rough couple days, said Sawyer, finishing
Midnight Mayhem has become one of the largest
exhibition races for Baja SAE cars, said Sawyer. "At
Mayhem, teams get to test new design elements, get
some live race data acquisition, but most of all have fun
in old cars they dedicated a year of their life to. With
the location and setup of the event, teams also camp
together for two nights, which not only leads to the
exchanging of ideas and tips, but it becomes a place to
meet and reconnect with people at national events."
A group of about 10-12 Louisville Baja SAE alumni
organize the event.
March 2019 13
Momentum - March 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - March 2019
Momentum - March 2019
Making the connection
Engineering design process crucial for success
A new perspective on airplane design
Focus on testing fuels win
Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Advertise your interests
Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Momentum - March 2019
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - March 2019 - Contents
Momentum - March 2019 - Making the connection
Momentum - March 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - March 2019 - Engineering design process crucial for success
Momentum - March 2019 - 5
Momentum - March 2019 - 6
Momentum - March 2019 - A new perspective on airplane design
Momentum - March 2019 - 8
Momentum - March 2019 - 9
Momentum - March 2019 - Focus on testing fuels win
Momentum - March 2019 - 11
Momentum - March 2019 - 12
Momentum - March 2019 - Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
Momentum - March 2019 - 2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
Momentum - March 2019 - Over-the-air affair
Momentum - March 2019 - SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
Momentum - March 2019 - 17
Momentum - March 2019 - DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Momentum - March 2019 - 19
Momentum - March 2019 - Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover4