By Dan LaTourette ’12
Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year Student
We got in at, like, 5 a.m. I mean, I think it was 5 a.m. It was hard for me to orient myself after around 16 hours of traveling from Rochester to Indiana. In case you were wondering, it took that long because we were hauling two substantial Baja buggies in a big truck. All in the name of competition. We were headed to University of Louisville for their annual Midnight Mayhem competition. When we got to the track, some of the guys stayed up to start working on the cars while the rest of us pitched tents and collapsed in our sleeping bags. I was one of the ones who collapsed, but when I woke from maybe four hours of sleep (I needed to get as much footage as I possibly could) I found the members of the UR Baja Team working hard at getting their vehicles ready for testing.
And then that was it. They didn’t stop working, technically speaking, until Sunday morning. There was one endurance race to top off the whole competition on Saturday night but I felt like the endurance race already started. It struck me just how dedicated this team was. Everyone seemed to be working on something specific and communication was constant. And here I am, holding a camera and walking, while they are working hard with tools and some grit, and I am the one tired by midday. And, that was when things were starting to heat up. The more than 20 colleges entered their 50-plus buggies into specific competitions. Here, I got to see the fruits of the hard labor that made these moving machines.
During the course of the weekend, I observed the progress made by not just UR Mini Baja, but by many other colleges as well. The culmination of the specific events and then the final gargantuan endurance race was something of a spectacle. The four-hour endurance race was exhilarating and really showcased the determination and prowess of these students. Driving back to Rochester early Sunday morning, another grueling 16-hour trip, I didn’t sense angst or a need to get away from Baja for a period of time to regroup from any of the members. Rather, the teammates constantly discussed ways in which they could improve their cars for future competition. The biggest reason I feel thankful that the UR Mini Baja Team allowed me to film this awesome event was the passion they so obviously have for their group. I hope you enjoy the video just as much as I did making it!