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Motor oil and gasoline; car lovers flock to PSU

May 27, 2011 12:00AM

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Teams register Thursday at the Kansas Technology Center for Baja competition.

By early afternoon Thursday, the parking lot at the Kansas Technology Center was filling up with trailers and tents and a line of Baja cars was beginning to snake around the west side of the building. This is the place to be for anyone who has motor oil in his or her veins.

The Baja SAE Kansas competition attracts teams from large universities and small colleges all across the U.S. and several other countries. Trailers in the parking lot proudly proclaim each team's allegiance: Auburn University War Eagle Racing, California State Poly Bronco Racing, Michigan State Off-Road Racing, Ohio State Baja Buckeyes, University of Arkansas Racin' Razorbacks and others.

Trent Lindbloom, a member of the Automotive Technology faculty and one of the Baja SAE Kansas organizers, said it has been a hectic day, but thanks to legions of volunteers, everything was going smoothly.

As the registration continued, team members wandered through the paddocks, snapping pictures of competitors' cars with their cell phones. Others worked on last-minute fine tuning or repairs under pop-up tents that were appearing like mushrooms after a rain across the parking lot.

After registration and early inspection today, the competition begins in earnest on Friday, following a brief opening ceremony at the KTC at 8 a.m. Briggs and Straton technical inspection and design judging begins at 8:30 a.m. Competitors will get their first look at the track, which is east across the railroad tracks from the Tyler Research Center, at 3 p.m. Friday. The design finals will be held at 5:30 p.m., with the winners of that portion of the competition to be announced at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 28, will be devoted to dynamic events at the site of the track. The competition concludes on Sunday with the highly anticipated endurance race, which begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m.

Spectators are welcome at any of the open events.

For a complete list of events, times and locations and more information about the competition, click on the Baja logo on the PSU website, www.pittstate.edu.

©2011 Pittsburg State University