Midnight Mayhem takes contest off-road for mini-racers Oct. 6


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — 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 mini-racers.

    More than 20 teams bringing 40-50 cars from universities across the United States are scheduled to compete from 8 p.m. to midnight that Saturday on a lighted dirt track at Podium1 Motoplex, 2921 Sunset Trail, in Charlestown, Ind. Spectator admission is $10, and the track opens at 2 p.m.

    Teams will drive four-wheel, off-road vehicles called Baja SAE racers in the four-hour endurance race; the vehicle completing the most laps wins. Drivers can switch out when they need to refuel the student-designed vehicles, which use 10-horsepower stock engines and fuel tanks.

    The UofL student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is host of the event. Most of the students are from the Speed School of Engineering but the UofL team also is open to other students. Three to four UofL teams, involving about 20 people, will race in Midnight Mayhem.

    UofL’s Baja SAE teams and others race in other competitions regionally and nationally, but this nighttime invitational event at a motocross track began in 2008 with a rare, unsanctioned format that gives teams racing experience in the fall before other competitions resume in the spring and summer. UofL’s racing team finished in the top 10 in SAE competitions earlier this year – fifth overall in April in Alabama and ninth overall in May in Oregon.

    UofL students raise funds for, design, manage, build, test, promote and drive 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 building and racing the vehicles under time and resource constraints.

    For more information, contact UofL team member and mechanical engineering student Alex Bays at 859-321-7102 or bays.alexander@gmail.com, race coordinator and research engineer Scott Cambron at 502-216-3279 or scott.cambron@louisville.edu 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.