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Midnight Mayhem takes contest off-road for mini-racers Saturday

by UofL Today last modified Oct 02, 2012 08:54 AM

The checkered flag drops at midnight Oct. 6. But until then there will be hours of noisy, dirty, off-road racing fun under the lights during the Midnight Mayhem competition that University of Louisville students organize for Baja SAE racers.

Midnight Mayhem takes contest off-road for mini-racers Saturday

A UofL Baja-SAE racer catches some air during Midnight Mayhem.

More than 20 teams bringing 40–50 mini-cars from universities across the United States are scheduled to compete from 8 p.m. to midnight on a lighted dirt track at Podium1 Motoplex, 2921 Sunset Trail, in Charlestown, Ind. Spectator admission is $10 for adults, $5 for high school students and free for kids under 6. The track opens at 2 p.m., and there will be a high school engineering fair from then until 6 p.m.

Student drivers will race the 10-horsepower off-road vehicles they designed with the winner being the car that can complete the most laps in the four-hour period.

Three to four UofL teams will race in Midnight Mayhem. UofL students raise funds for, design, manage, build, test, promote and drive their vehicles. They do not receive course credit for the work, but they benefit from having an outlet to apply the technical and project management concepts they learn in class.

The UofL student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is the event host. Most of the students are from the Speed School of Engineering but the UofL team also is open to other students.

They started Midnight Mayhem in 2008. Although the nighttime, motocross track format is unsanctioned, the race gives teams experience in the fall before other SAE competition resume in the spring and summer.

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