University of Vermont

UVM SAE Baja Team ‘Catamount Racing’ to compete in national event at NCAT

Baja RigThe UVM Catamount Racing Team will depart UVM’s Votey Hall next week on a quest for victory at the 2012 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja East national race to be hosted by Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and by the National Center for Asphalt Testing (NCAT) on April 12-22, 2012.

SAE Baja is a collegiate design competition with over 100 university and college participants from around North America. Throughout the year students; design, build, and test an off-road buggy to compete in both static and dynamic events.

Static events include a written 15-page design report speaking to the engineering of the vehicles suspension, steering, drive train, frame and other unique aspects, including a cost report that details the marketability, manufacturability, and price point associated with mass production of the vehicle.  During the static event, members are given the opportunity to defend design decisions during their Design Presentation as well as answer challenging engineering questions in front of a panel of judges.

Dynamic events at the Baja East event in Alabama this year include a hill climb, suspension and traction event, land maneuverability event, as well as the infamous four-hour endurance race --which tests the vehicle for just that!

This year the UVM Baja team has worked diligently to re-engineer the front suspension system and implement a new transmission system into the newly modified and lightweight frame. Presidents Sam Flinkström (originally from South Berwick, Maine) and Owen Teetor (originally from Poultney, Vermont); as well as Mackie Spencer (originally from Tampa, Florida) took on this task in part to satisfy their senior design requirement in mechanical engineering.

“The opportunity to use Baja as a co-curricular activity this year has allowed us to progress our vehicle’s design at a much faster rate than in previous race seasons,” explained Sam. “Before, as solely an extra-curricular activity the priority of classes created a lack of investment in Baja by some members. Now, with the motivation of class credit and the corresponding extra availability of time, we have been able to drastically improve on our design.”

Sam and Owen are veteran team members and have served the SGA-sponsored club for all four years of their undergraduate career.  Both are grateful for the invaluable assistance and manufacturing expertise of Floyd Vilmont, Lab Coordinator who has played a key role in the success of the club. 

“Floyd is the largest constant in the club,” says Sam, “He has seen the Baja team through all of its race seasons since the team’s foundation in early 2000.”

Current and prospective students interested in joining the club/team should contact either Sam or Owen, or stop by the prototype lab at 122 Votey Hall. All UVM students are welcome to join and are promised a hands-on, educational experience different from any other available.

SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries, with core competencies in life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development.

For more information visit on SAE Baja:

For more information on the Baja East race visit:

For more information on the UVM SAE Baja visit:

Contact information:

Sam Flinkström:

Owen Teetor:

Visitors: Baja Room - 122C Votey Hall (South-West Corner, 1 Floor)  from 9am-4pm, M-F