Engineering students organize Midnight Mayhem for mini-racers


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An endurance race, wheel to wheel, on dirt, under the lights – that’s the scenario for the Sept. 26 Midnight Mayhem event that University of Louisville engineering students are organizing for mini-racers.

    More than 20 teams bringing 30 cars from UofL and other universities 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.

    The UofL student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers is host of the event.

    Teams will drive the four-wheel, off-road vehicles called mini-Baja racers in a four-hour endurance race; the vehicle completing the most laps wins. Because they use stock engines and fuel tanks, they will have to refuel during the race, and the drivers can switch out when they do.

    UofL’s Baja team and others race in other competitions regionally and nationally, but this night event began last year as an unsanctioned format. UofL’s SAE teams had their best year ever in 2008-09, with the mini-Baja racers winning the inaugural Midnight Mayhem race as well as placing sixth and 14th overall in national competitions and the Formula racecar placing sixth in its contest.

    Students from UofL’s Speed School of Engineering raise funds for, manage, design, build, test and race their vehicles. Although they do not receive course credit for the work, they benefit from applying the technical and project management concepts learned in class to a multifaceted program with resource and time constraints.

    For more information, contact race coordinator and research engineer Scott Cambron at 502-216-3279 or chapter adviser and professor Keith Sharp at 502-852-7280.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.