May 02, 2012 12:00AM
The Pittsburg State University Baja SAE team returned this week from competition at Auburn University in Alabama and they brought with them some significant hardware. Gorilla Racing placed third in the grueling endurance race and seventh overall out of 88 teams from the U.S. and abroad.
The overall winner of the competition was Cornell University. Gorilla Racing finished just ahead of the University of Oklahoma and Johns Hopkins University. This is the best finish in U.S. competition ever for Gorilla Racing.
SAE Baja is a design-build-race competition that tests students’ skills in a wide range of engineering challenges. Each of the student teams designs and builds an off-road vehicle that they then race over a challenging obstacle course. Pittsburg State hosted the event for the first time in 2011.
Members of the Gorilla Racing team said the course at Auburn was difficult but not nearly as muddy as PSU’s course last year, which was soaked by heavy rain in the days before the race.
Members of the Gorilla Racing team used this week at home to prepare for their next SAE Baja race, which is in Portland, Ore., May 2-5.
Members of Gorilla Racing are: Jake Lampe, (Gorilla Racing President) a senior from Osceola, Iowa; Jeff Vondemkamp, (team captain) a senior from Seneca, Kan.; Casey Perry, a senior from Overland Park, Kan.; Stewart Bishop, a junior from Peoria, Ill.; Brad Bohnenblust, a sophomore from Altamont; Brad Huston, a senior from Shawnee, Kan.; Kyle Simon, a senior from Stanley, Kan.; Federico Roman, a senior from Miami, Fla.; and William Kincade, a senior from Pittsburg, Kan. Faculty sponsors of Gorilla Racing are Bob Schroer and Trent Lindbloom.